Stock Trading Versus Sports Betting; The Differences and Similarities

stock trading vs sports betting

By Samuel Ighoyota Akporhiunuvwiyo

There is a growing population of betting companies in Nigeria. This is a result of increase in the number of betters in Nigeria. At a time in the country, it was only just pool betting, but as of today, we have seen a rise in the number of betting companies; the likes of Nairabets, Bet9ja, Accessbet, Blackbet, etc come to mind.

It is a common belief by betters that betting is a good way of raising money or getting additional income to solve their financial needs. To some, this is correct, while to others, this is far from the truth.

What is Sports Betting

According to Wikipedia, sports betting is the activity of predicting results of sporting activities and placing a wager on the outcome. The frequency of bookmaking varies by culture, with the vast majority of bets being placed on football also known as soccer, American football, basketball, baseball, hockey, track cycling, auto racing, mixed martial arts, and boxing at both the amateur and professional levels.

Sports betting can also extend to non-athletic events, such as reality shows and political elections, and non-human contests such as horse racing, greyhound racing, and illegal, underground cockfighting. It is not uncommon for sports betting websites to offer wagers for entertainment events such as the Grammy Awards, the Oscars, and the Emmy Awards.

What is Stock Trading

Stock trading is the buying and selling of shares of companies on a regulated platform like the stock exchange.

At the stock market, owners of a certain company’s equities look for willing buyers, with the different bodies earning certain percentages as commission for the transaction. These shares are traded for various reasons, depending on the prevailing conditions when the trading took place.

For example, when in need of funds to sort out an urgent obligation, you could place an order to exchange your shares for cash and this could come at a loss to the seller. In another way, an information like the recent from Dangote Flour and Forte Oil could trigger the demand for a company stock, which will result in the price going up. For willing seller who bought at a relatively cheap price, it could be time to take profit.

Similarities Between Sports Betting and Stock Trading

Sports betting and Stock Trading exhibit some level of similarities and one of them is the Skill Based Gambling

In as much as there is a slight difference between stock trading and sports betting, they both carry a potential for gains and losses. This means they both manage some level of risk, gambling, and predictions. They both require a level of research too, although, methodology differs.

Comparative Returns

They both exhibit potentials of a favourable return on investment, although, sports betting typically involves several losses followed by a big return of 100 percent or more or less. Whether this covers the cost of all lost bets depends on a specific situation, but average performance produces approximately a 5 percent loss over time. Returns also depend on the risk appetite of the player.

Differences Between Sports Betting and Stock Trading

One of the major differences between the two forms of ‘investment’ is that while stock trading is normally carried out during working days, sports betting can extend to non-working days, including public holidays.

Another difference is about legality. While stock trading is legal in almost every country and backed by law, the same is not with sports betting, which is illegal in some countries.

A Rigged Game

One major difference between sports betting and the stock trading is the way the professionals make money. Publicly traded companies make money by doing business. As they get wealthy, their investors also reap benefits in form of dividend payment usually paid at the end of a financial year. Some companies also pay what is called interim dividend, which is paid before the end of the fiscal year.

But for sports bookies, they make money when people lose bets. They set the odds specifically to make people lose more money overall than they win. This is one of the key reasons only one of these practices is legal throughout the United States, Although, betters can avoid or reduce this by lowering their risk appetite. The higher the odd the riskier the bet.

Another big difference between sports betting and stock trading is that the former is highly addictive. It is often said that there is ‘an evil spirit’ attached to sports betting, which make betters sell their belongings to place bets with the hope of winning big.

Having highlighted the similarities and differences between sports betting and stock trading, it is advisable for the growing population of Nigeria to explore the opportunities in trading in the Nigerian stock market because it is less risky than sports betting and is also more regulated.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via

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