How Often People Actually Win at Sports Betting?

How many real winners are there in the sports betting world? How often people make a longer-term profit by playing sports betting? The world of sports betting has always been a mystery and many people have tried to understand it so they can reach the ultimate goal – win a lot of money. These are all the questions many punters have been asking themselves every time they end up in the black over a long time span. Don’t bother asking the casinos though, as they keep such information a closely guarded secret.

For the sake of this discussion, let’s include games of pure chance, like roulette, where skill doesn’t play any role whatsoever. It’s true that there are occasional big winners, but trying to make a profit in casinos is pointless because the house edge always wins.

Even if we add online bonus codes and tempting welcome bonuses into the equation, you will probably end up on the wrong side of the profit line. At best, punters make money on 25% of the days they wagered. But is it safe to continue gambling and how can someone determine when to stop?

What do the bookmakers say?

If you really want to find out how many winners and losers are out there, you should ask the bookmaker. Of course, you must assume that your bookmaker is willing to accept winners without any restrictions. All bookmakers try to stop winners from winning because there is a profit margin built into betting markets.

The law of probability

In games of pure skill, the stronger player will inevitably beat the weaker one. But what happens when both chance and skill have an influence on the outcome of the game? According to the law of probability, chance may dominate for a short period, but skill will prevail over the long term. The similar situation occurs in sports betting where high-skilled punters dominate over their weaker counterparts as the number of bets progresses.

The Wall Street Journal data

According to the public data from the Wall Street Journal, only 11% of punters end up losing over a two-year span, and most of them wagered less than $150. On the other hand, 95% of heavy gamblers drop tens of thousands of dollars over the same amount of time. Losers of more than $5,000 outnumber the winners by 128 to 1.

Similar loss patterns were found in Bwin, where ratios of big losers to winners were similarly large. Among the group of more than 4,000 gamblers, only seven won more than $5,000. That’s a staggering 31-1 ratio of losers to big winners.

Final verdict

Sports betting is a part of ‘winner-takes-all’ culture, and we shouldn’t really expect to see more than 5% of punters making a long-term profit. Sure, there a few lucky bets here and there, but there is a small portion of players that win because of their skill.