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True or False?

29th September 2016

Responsible Gambling Officer Daniel takes a moment to debunk some of the myths around gambling…

There are many things people believe about gambling. If you’re convinced by some of these myths and superstitions then you may not be making an informed choice about gambling and you may be putting yourself at greater risk of harm.


“I’ve just flipped a coin 5 times and it’s landed on heads 5 times… tails has to be next!”

The truth of the matter is that the coin has no memory, independent events have the exactly the same probability of happening each time they occur.

“The machine has a return to player percentage of 90%... that means that I’m guaranteed to get at least £9 back if I bet this tenner.”

Return to Player (RTP) percentages are a bit more complicated than they first appear.

RTP is tested over 10,000, 100,000 or even more spins – this means that a 90% figure is the average from 100,000 spins. Given statistical variance at this level, your £10 could very easily be gone in a matter of minutes with no return.

“I’m following an expert tipster on Twitter, how can I lose?”

Tipsters may not be all they seem. Some of them work in affiliation with gambling operators in order to get people to sign up to their websites and bet. Be wary when offered ‘lucrative winning tips’ for little or no money.

“I can’t believe I won that last bet, it was so close to losing… this is my lucky day!”

This is our brain making us perceive that we’re ‘on a roll’, or our ‘luck is in’. In reality we are no more or less likely to win today than any other day.

“Gambling isn’t an issue for me - I can easily afford it.”

Take a look at one of our previous blog posts – sometimes, gambling is an issue even if you can afford it.

“I can’t have a problem with gambling, I don’t gamble every day.”

The amount of time spent gambling is not the only measure of whether it is a problem. Gambling is a problem if it causes harm to you or those close to you. Immense damage can be done in just one gambling session, or it may accumulate over a long period of time. If you recognise that gambling is getting in the way of the life you want to live, get in touch for support.

“Gambling will never be a problem for me. I don’t have an addictive personality.”

It may surprise you to learn that there is no scientific support for the idea of an ‘addictive personality’. There are countless factors at play when a person develops a problem with gambling – our counsellors take an integrative approach and tailor sessions to each client so that they can make progress toward recovery.


Fundamentally, gambling should be an informed choice. Anyone taking part in gambling activity of any kind should fully understand what it is that they are doing and the risks involved.

If you or someone you know needs support because of problematic gambling, contact the National Gambling HelpLine on Freephone 0808 8020 133 or via our NetLine.