Is it possible to earn money on sports gambling? Yes,” says Simon Inglis, who has earned over the usual best-buy savings account in a year — but no if you look at the victims of this industry, as we detail below ambling, goes the consensus, is a mug’s game. Surely that was my opinion. Aside from an annual punt about the Grand National I steered well clear. Not least, having rid the contents of my late uncle’s slum apartment, strewn with gambling slips, I connected it with collapse.
Another barrier is mental arithmetic. It’s not my strong point. If ever a gambler attempted to talk me through the basics, I glazed over within minutes. But then this time my novel, Played in London, was nominated for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year. My reward? A complimentary #1,000 wager.
Not wanting to blow this possibility of a windfall — these stats you read about how little the ordinary writer earns are bang — I placed the bet on what I believed was a cert: my team, Aston Villa, of the Premier League, to conquer Blackpool, afterward in collapse in the branch below, in the FA Cup at chances of 4/9. Typical Villa left it nabbing the winner in the 88th minute. However, a win is a win.
Now you may laugh, but despite 35 years of writing about sport, albeit its history and culture, not sport itself, I had never quite known that when you win a wager you get not only the profit, but also your stake back. So I was chuffed to receive a William Hill cheque, maybe not for #444.44 as I’d anticipated, but for #1,444.44. Tax free.
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