Debunking Gambling Myths

When an addict indulges in their addiction, there is a certain reasoning process that helps them justify their addictive behaviour.  Specifically for a gambling addiction, there are certain gambling myths that gamblers often believe which can lead to problems.

“The mindset of the gambler is oftegambling mythsn that the next big win is around the corner. When you really take a step back and look at some of the facts behind gambling myths and how gaming works, you can quickly see that winning is not only unlikely, a big payout is nearly impossible. It puts your gambling decisions in perspective,” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.

“When it comes to gambling, the house always wins ultimately, which means that you end up empty-handed and often heavily in debt,” says Schwartz.

Here are some common gambling myths:

I feel lucky

Most gambling games by design are completely random. You simply cannot control the outcome. You can pocket your lucky penny, wear your lucky shirt or rub that rabbit’s foot all you want, but the outcome of your game is in the hands of the universe.

I have a winning formula for my lottery numbers

Despite what some people believe, there is no skill involved with picking lotto numbers to win.  The outcome is completely unpredictable. Similarly, people sometimes think that buying a ticket from a store that has sold winning tickets in the past will increase their odds of winning. Again, not true.

Accordingly to Playsmart.ca, your odds of winning in a large lottery like Lotto 6/49 are 1 in 6.6 for a smaller prize e.g. a free ticket or a few bucks). But to get the jackpot? Your odds of winning jump up to 1 in 14 million. Kind of a long shot, at best.

This slot machine is “hot” and due for a payout.

While it may seem to make sense to keep feeding money into a machine, if you feel like a big win is just around the corner, but that’s not the way it works with slot machines. You can’t predict which are going to win.  What you can predict is that if you keep putting money in, you are going home empty handed.

A winning pull on a slot machine is determined by a random number generator, which is a chip inside the machine that generates thousands of numbers a second. If your numbers randomly come up when you pull, then you win. The key word here is “random”.

If I keep playing, I’ll win back my money

Nope. In fact, the longer you play the more money you’ll lose. The odds are always in favour of the house. That’s what’s at the centre of a gambling addiction- that the big win is just around the corner. Here is a calculator that can help you determine exactly what it will cost you if you continue playing.

Your best bet? Set your limit, stay within it; cut your losses and walk away.

Has a gambling addiction landed you in a pile of debt? In addition to getting help for your gambling problem, it’s time to take control of your debts as well. Call one of our trained credit counsellors at or visit our free online debt analysis.

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