NCAA Football Rankings – Does the NCAA cause gambling addiction?

NCAAPlacing a winning bet on a college football game can be an exhilarating feeling. If you are a sports fan, you probably have been tempted to use your knowledge to win some easy money or perhaps have won money in the past. However, does betting on college football games lead a person down the path to a gambling addiction?

Gambling May Be a Genetic Issue

To a certain extent, gambling may be a behavior that is hardwired into some people. This is because those that tend to gamble frequently have an addictive personality to begin with. In a scenario such as this one, it would be hard to blame the NCAA or any other group for the actions of a gambler.

Emotional Betting Can Hurt Many Gamblers

Some people have good luck when they first start betting. Winning $100 on a $1 bet on the very first try may trick a naive gambler that he or she can make that type of money on any bet. However, a professional will tell you that the math simply does not add up.

Success or failure on one or two bets is not a large enough sample size nor long enough of a track record for anyone to declare that they are good enough to win consistently. Unfortunately, it may create a situation where a gambler makes bets based on emotion and causes them to risk more money than they can afford to lose.

Once the losses start to pile up, it can be harder and harder to pull away from the table in an attempt to win that money back. While a smart gambler will walk away and try to learn from their mistakes, most will become desperate and place wagers on anything that they think will help them recoup their cash.

Gambling Should Always Be Seen as Entertainment

Anyone who has placed a wager in the past generally understands that the house always has the advantage. Therefore, it is a good idea to only gamble with money that you can afford to lose and not be upset when the bet turns into a losing proposition. While a bettor may win occasionally, this is almost always done for public relations purposes. In other words, the person making the bet got lucky and shouldn’t expect to repeat such a performance in the future.

Does the NCAA create problem gamblers? While it may be easy to put the finger at them, it is ultimately the responsibility of the person making the bet to make sure that he or she is not throwing money away. All the NCAA can do is to promote awareness regarding problem gambling and point people toward resources to get them help. However, they cannot be responsible for the actions of an adult with complete control over his or her money.

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Horseback Riding Lessons

For the past couple of years, my daughters have been riding in horse shows with a local saddle club.  We’ve been lucky in that my wife’s cousin has let us borrow her horse for the shows, so costs have been minimal.Bought a Pony

Unfortunately, that horse isn’t available this year.  We knew that a few months ago, so the plan was to take a year off from the shows and focus on lessons, to get the girls some real skills.  We found a great instructor at a stable about 30 miles from our house.  Since we live less than two miles from the border of the biggest city in the state, that’s a comparatively short drive.

We pay her $200 per month for 1 lesson per week for both girls.   They each get 30-45 minutes on the horse during each lesson.

Now that show season has started, the plan seems to have changed.   The girls will be riding a different borrowed pony tomorrow.  The shows cost about $50 for registration, lunch, and gas.  Our club has 1 show per month, but my wife has assured me they’ll only be hitting three shows this season and limiting the number of events to keep the cost down.

The direct costs aren’t too bad, but there’s a problem with keeping-up-with-the-Joneses accessorizing.  Vests and boots and helmets and belts and shirts, oh my.

I’d guess our costs for the summer will be $300 per month.

One thing we’ve been considering is buying a pony.  We can get an older pony for around $500-1000.  Older is good because they are calmer and slower.  Boarding the thing will cost another $200 per month.   We’ve been slowly accumulating the stuff to own a horse, so I’m guessing the “OMG, he let me buy a horse, now I need X” shopping bill will come to around $1500, but I’ll figure $2000 to be safe.   We already have a trailer, a saddle, blankets, buddy-straps, combs, brushes, buckets, rakes, shovels, and I-bought-this-but-I-will-just-put-it-in-the-pile-of-horse-stuff-so-Jason-will-never-notice stuff.  We’re certainly close to being ready to buy.

(FYI: If you’re starting from scratch, don’t think you’re going to get into horse ownership for less than $10,000 the first year, and that’s being a very efficient price-shopper.)

So we’re looking at $5400 for a horse, gear, and boarding the first year.  If we cancel the lessons, by spring we’d have $2000 of that saved and most of the rest can be bought over time.

On the other hand, if we go that route, we’ll never save enough to buy the hobby farm we’re looking for.

Decisions, decisions.  I should just buy a new motorcycle.   Within a year, I win financially.

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I’m the Bad Guy

My wife and daughters are active in a saddle club, even though we don’t own any horses.  We’ve been borrowing them for shows when my girls compete.

Two young Nokota mares

Two young Nokota mares (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My wife’s cousin has been trying to sell one of her horses for a few months.   Because this horse has alpha-male problems, it has to be kept in a stall.   Stall boarding runs $450 per month as opposed to $200 in a group paddock.

Since my girls love this horse, Cousin continually tries to convince my wife to buy it.

My wife’s response is “Jason won’t let me buy a horse, yet.”   Then all of her friends get to complain about how I’m not supportive.

Uhhh, no.

We are $10,000 away from paying off truck.   We’re $23,000 away from being mortgage-free.   After that, we’re planning to rent out the house we’re in and buy a hobby farm.

Yes, Mr. Unsupportive is planning to uproot everything and move to the country so my wife and daughters can have horses on site.

Shame on me.  I’m such a jerk.

In a couple of years, I want to buy a $450,000 spread on about a dozen acres and let my wife’s dreams come true.

Or, we could buy a couple of horses now and never have the money for a down payment.

Or, we could buy the farm now, buy the horses now, spend every last cent of our savings on a down payment, spend more than half of our income on our mortgage payment, never get ahead, and end up losing everything.

Such a jerk.

This is a case where we have to do everything in the right order, or it will all come tumbling down on our heads in a few years.   If I have to be the bad guy to avoid screwing ourselves later, so be it.

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