Safer Gambling Week: Why you shouldn’t bet for the sake of having a bet


It’s Safer Gambling Week 2023 so it’s our aim to promote safe gambling practices and provide tips and tools to help with that. Our article from earlier this week about keeping your stake small when betting at the major festivals is also well worth a read. One way to ensure that you’re maintaining safe betting practices is to ensure that you only have a bet if you have a strong opinion on the race. Gambling isn’t the only way to enjoy sport and you can have plenty of fun without it.


There’s a fairly commonly held misconception that the the only way to enjoy watching certain sports is to have a bet. I’ve often been met with a confused expression when explaining that I have regularly visited Cheltenham without having a bet at all.

Although horse racing in particular is closely linked to betting, enjoyment and betting are mutually exclusive. It’s an exhilarating sport to watch and one of the best spectator sports in the world. The misconception is shared across most sports to differing extents but the truth remains constant.

Form a strong opinion

There should always be some confidence behind the decision to part ways with your money when placing a bet. If you’ve looked at a race and been unable to form a strong argument for backing a certain horse, it’s probably a race that should be left alone.

Our betting masterclasses provide some helpful suggestions of what factors to consider when selecting a horse. Below are some important ideas to think about when making a bet, which can help to create informed and confident opinions.

  • Going
  • Race distance
  • Pedigree
  • Course form
  • Handicap ratings
  • Connections

Placing a bet for the sake of betting

This policy is doomed to fail in the long run, even if you’re fortunate enough to gain some short term success. It’s an unhealthy practice which should be avoided at all costs. Betting is supposed to be light and fun and it’s important to keep it that way!

Please remember to gamble responsibly and if you are concerned that you may have a problem with gambling, click here for advice and links to some helpful resources.

Please Gamble Responsibly