The first week of February can get a little intense. All the money you earned during the holidays or your student loan installment #2 is disappearing – fast. You have become inventive with ramen noodles and stretching out meals. You are contemplating forgoing a bus pass this month and walking everywhere – it's the best form of exercise and an incredible way to explore this fine town, right?
And then it hits you: Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest gambling days of the year. It is a football fan's final chance to make up for the low bank balance that looks back at you when you go online. Maybe you’re thinking let’s join the party, place a bet on the outcome of the game and make some money? Or better yet – try your hand at one of the 1,000+ crazy prop bets, including: "What colour will the Gatorade bath be?" to "Whether Pink will become airborne during the Anthem’?" (These are real bets!)
Why not? Because gambling should never be looked at as a way to earn money. If you decide to gamble, it should only be funded by money that you've set aside for entertainment. (See other safer gambling tips). And if you are eating ramen noodles every day and using laundry money for drinks, it's been established that, for this this month at least, the entertainment budget is low to non-existent.
"…Sports betting isn't exactly a game of chance – there's skill involved!" Sure, knowing something about the team, players, who's in or out of the game and other stats can give you a bit of an edge over someone who picks a team based on name, uniform colours, or even a general dislike of a certain quarterback. But then again, maybe not that much of an edge. No matter how much you know, there is still chance involved and anything can happen: player injury, weird weather or a bad call by a ref.
"…I want to join in on the fun! The game will be much more exciting if I have something riding on it!" You don't need a wager to make it more real: get together with friends and roommates, load up on snacks (preferably that someone else has brought!) and park yourself in front of the TV.
"…Like I said: I am eating ramen noodles - everyday. I need the money!" Gambling is not the way to solve financial woes. Get in touch with your financial aid office. They can help you with money management workshops, budgeting and emergency loans. If you were impacted by the strike, there is also a Student Strike Relief Fund. There are plenty of ways to stretch out your money without adding more stress to the semester; betting on a sporting event is not one of them!