Gambling isn’t new to me.
Every once a while as children, we’d be allowed to go the local seaside town and put 2ps in the arcade machine, hoping to win 10p back. I’ve also bought a lottery ticket at least 5 times. Despite these high-stakes pursuits, I’ve never actually placed a bet on anything before. Today was the day to finally hit the big time.
I wanted to bet on something where I could see the results the same day, which limited it to football and the Europa League matches that were on that night. Of the two matches, I’d be able to watch one of them on German TV, so I went with Bayer Leverkusen vs. Inter Milan, intending to bet on the German side to win. Well, that was easier said than done.
I went to Betway, but it was just so overwhelming! There was information all over the page, and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I only wanted to spend €20 maximum, so I placed one bet on Bayer Leverkusen to win, and one “special” bet on both teams to score, but the German side still to win. Or at least, that’s what I thought I’d done. A confused 5 minutes later and I’d somehow placed 5 bets, including one for a different match (which would become important later) with some free money the betting company had given me when I signed up. Is this a slippery slope?
I like watch football anyway, but having an invested interest definitely made it more exciting – I can see why people do it. At half time the score was 2.1 to Inter Milan. I checked to see if I could cash out my bet early (both teams had scored) and was offered €2.50 – enough for a can of coke AND a packet of crisps! I decided to chance it and see what the second half would bring.
Misery! My dreams of a coke and crisps so cruelly crushed by Inter Milan. Never mind, all was not yet lost, still had my bet on the other match – Man Utd. vs. Copenhagen.
When I checked the next day, it turned out Bruno Fernandes had scored and Man Utd. had won – but why was my bet not successful? I could be sipping on a €17.50 bottle of wine right now.
Well, after a frustrated conversation with customer service agent, Miles, it turns out that the goal had occurred in extra time, therefore making it outside of the bet’s time limit. Great. I didn’t expect my first time betting to be ruined by the fine print, but there we go!
Although having “skin in the game” definitely made watching the live sport more exciting, the actual act of betting is enough to put me off actually doing this again – it was so stressful!