Life is all about decision-making and, on many occasions, taking risks. It could be a calculated risk of simply visiting casinos not on Gamstop or a jump in the dark and hoping for the best. This applies to all people whether they are engaged in a profession, trade or providing a service. Is taking a risk the same as gambling? Are these two conceptions the same, or are they completely different to each other?
Many business people believe that taking a risk is the opposite of gambling as the latter is all about taking a chance, whereas a business is more based on a long-term business plan aimed at making a profit but understanding the reality that it may carry a loss. Others say that the difference between the two is very wafer-thin and has similarities. Both aim at making money; carry the probabilities of making money or losing money, and gambling outlets and casinos are business enterprises run by professional business people whose aim is to make a profit for themselves or the shareholders/persons who have a stake in the casinos.
To better understand this complex situation, one needs to properly define the two words. Simply put, gambling can be defined as the pursuit of an endeavour for stakes meaning to risk or stake money or anything valuable on an outcome purely based on chance. The definition of a business is the formation of a company or business entity aimed at generating profits but understanding that it may make a loss or gain a lower percentage of profits than initially anticipated. Taking a risk to set up a business can be influenced by several elements, which include competition from other businesses making the same product or providing the same service and the economic climate in the world. This can have a severe impact (both positive and negative) on the end result of the commercial activity and the market experience of the people running the business. Dissecting all these factors, one tends to believe that taking a risk and a gamble are virtually the same, and insertion is far from the truth and verges on illusion.
There is a big difference between the two. In business, taking a gamble means implementing and applying a new idea and hoping it will work and the business will benefit from it. Taking a genuine risk in a business enterprise can be termed as a form of entrepreneurship which, in effect, means that you can organise and manage a business entity and bring new ideas into the business to improve the profit margins.
Business people control their destiny and possess the advantage of calling the shots. Before making the final decision and implementing new measures or increasing investments in the commercial entity, the business people have to assess and analyze the market, assemble facts and evaluate the situation from different perspectives and try to deduce an objective view and probabilities on how the innovation will impact the mechanism of the enterprise. Notwithstanding all the assessments, a businessman is well aware that there are no guarantees that new ideas will work out, and there is always the possibility of failure. Without a calculated risk, there is no possibility for creativity or innovation nor an actual window of opportunity to make the business evolve and expand. Although the business process and approach to taking a risk is very different from taking a gamble, the last part of the process (failure) is somewhat similar to placing a bet.
In gambling, a gamble means putting money on a slot machine, poker game or football match and hoping that the result is what you bet on. In gambling, there are too many variations that can affect the outcome of your bet. In essence, gambling is far riskier and comes with longer odds, which is factual irrespective of the size of the bet and on which gambling activity you place your bet.
When involved in business, one always deals with odds, as gamblers do when they place their wagers; no formula guarantees a win. It is a recognised fact that casinos have been built on funds from people who have lost their bets in the past. The rapid evolution of online casinos and the amount of profit margins they make is incredible. It would be wise for other business people to take a leaf out of the casino’s success story and seek why the gaming industry has exploded in recent years and implement a similar measure in their commercial enterprises. Taking the positive aspects and advantages of the gambling world can help the business person to increase the odds of increasing the profit margin of the business. Like a gambler betting on different gambling activities, the business person needs to ensure that the business is not strictly aligned with one particular product or service. Placing all your eggs in one basket is neither a good gambling tactic nor a sound business strategy.
Ironically, many people in the business world do not cherish the comparison with gamblers. However, this comparison is not always bad as, on many occasions, the business world is intertwined, and each aspect of the business chain can learn from the other. It is surprisingly true that people can learn new things and techniques from places and avenues they least expect.
That said, irrespective of whether you are in business or gambling, it is crucial to ensure that you make smart decisions to avoid unwanted and precarious situations. Both need to carry out an in-depth exercise and research concepts they are unfamiliar with and do not understand. The research process is crucial for both of them to see the bigger picture and get a hold and grasp of the matter. It is equally essential for both to seek expert advice from mature persons who have passed through similar experiences. Knowledge is key to making the correct decision with the least negative consequences.