Why You Can’t Make Money in
f you placed a ksh100 bet on Leicester winning the
2015/2016 English Premier League, you would have
walked away a winner one year later and Ksh500000
richer. No other business idea will guarantee you a
return that can come close to matching the possible
winnings from sports betting. However, the truth, to
many, is that it is impossible to ever make money
through sports betting.
I developed an interest in gambling in 2012, and for two
years I dived into the world of sports betting, horse
racing, blackjack, slot machines, lotteries, card games
Still, nothing in the gambling world grabbed my
attention as much as sports betting. It is important to
note that I am one of the biggest football fans you can
find out there. As a devout football fan, you develop a
knack of making fairly accurate predictions of match
After years of betting, against the better judgment of
the economist in me, I came to a bitter realization.
Sports betting is ‘rigged’, and the only winner in the
long run is Sportpesa and the likes.
A past Sportpesa winner
With the increasing popularity of sports betting, all my
weekends now involve an internal battle between the
voice of the economist vs the football fan in me. The
likely winner is often the reasonable voice of the
economist urging me to put my cash to better use.
To understand why it is difficult for an economist to
engage in sports betting, or gambling in general, it is
important to understand how odds in sports betting
Usually, odds are used to show you the potential
winnings. For instance, with an odd of 2.0 on the
outcome of a football match, you will win Ksh.200 with
a stake of Ksh100.
Stake x Odd = Winning
100 x 2 = 200
However, odds are much more important to the sports
First, odds are used to ensure that bookies such as
Sportpesa make a profit from all bets placed.
Bookies usually lower the odds on all bets to ensure
they gain typically about Ksh5 or more for each Ksh100
bet. This is usually well hidden using complex
mathematics, but you can easily spot it.
You can even carry out this simple experiment. Place
three bets on all probable outcomes (Win/Draw/Lose)
across a number of matches. Two things are bound to
happen. One guarantee is that you will never lose,
because you have all outcomes covered but you will
soon realize that your money is gradually decreasing
irrespective of your guaranteed wins.
The bookies have already won before the match even
This is why the first unwritten rule in sports betting
should be to never rely on one bookie.
READ: Juma a form 3 did this to his madaam teacher,,, this is crazy!
On the other hand, the odds are usually set depending
on the probability of the occurrence of the event you
are placing a bet on. Thus, the probability of the
occurrence of a result with an odd of 2.1 is 47.6% –
which is very low. An odd of 3 is 33%, and an odd of 4
The formula is to calculate the probability is: 1 /
If the decimal betting odds are 2.10, the equation
would look like this:
1 / 2.10 = 0.4761904
Multiply your end result (0.4761904) by 100 to get the
Keep in mind; the higher the odds, the lower the
probability of the occurrence of the expected event.
For an odd of 10, the probability is a mere 10%. This
means that for every 10 bets placed, you will likely
only win once.
Factoring in multi-bets and jackpots, the chances of
winning are so low that you are guaranteed to lose all
your money in the long run.
In the world of finance, no investor would ever spend
their money when they have less than a 80% – 90%
chance of getting a return on their investment – let
alone 50 or 10%.
Only less than 10% of gamblers truly profit from sports
Do you engage in sports betting? Let us know your
experience in the comments section below.