Often not considered gambling is Financial gambling and the only reason some do not consider it to be gambling is that people do it for a living in the cities around the world all the time, the only real difference is that they are not betting for odds against a bookmaker but rather against other people. Financial gambling is fairly new to bookmakers and only a few of them offer it as an alternative but those that do are Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Bet365 and Party gaming. There are two main categories of financial gambling which are fixed odds gambling and spread betting and one of the principle differences is that in fixed odds betting you are in a win or lose situation meaning that, as in a horse racing bet, you can only lose your stake and you can only win your stake multiplied by the odds at which the bet was taken whereas in spread betting you can win or lose considerably more than your stake
Spread betting is further explained in our spread betting section but you will be gambling on the movement of a particular market either up or down and your bet will be placed as so much “per point”; your profit or loss will be calculated as the number of points moved multiplied by your stake per point. There can be a time frame associated with the bet but more often than not there is simply a charge per day that the bet remains open. This means that your profits or losses can be much greater than your initial outlay and they are unknown; there are of course ways to mitigate losses called “stop loss orders” or take profits when you have had enough. You could achieve the same thing as a spread bet by actually buying or selling shares or currency or whatever you are trading but to buy shares or currency you need to have the money whereas to take part in spread bet gambling you only need to have the money you lose. To allow you to take part in spread betting you will need to deposit funds into your account; the amount of the required deposit will depend on the market or indices you want to play and of course the level of bet but it should be stated on the financial gambling page of the bookmaker. Also, if you actually buy and sell shares you may be subject to income and capital gains tax which is not the case for spread betting.
With Fixed Odds financial gambling you are betting against a movement in an index or exchange rate or similar at odds which are published on the site you are using. The difference between fixed odds betting and spread betting is that if for example you bet €20 that an index will rise by 20 points in a given time frame at odds of 11/4; if the index rises by 22 points you win €55 but if it rises by 40 points you still only win €55; on the other hand, if it rises by 19 points you lose your €20 but even if it drops by 20 points you still can only lose your original €20. Fixed odds’ gambling is more fully explained in our fixed odds page but there are a number of gambling opportunities with fixed odds including most of the major market indices, currency exchange rates and commodities such as oil, gold and silver. Fixed odds betting can be a very quick way to make money as it is possible to gamble on market movements as frequently as every 2 minutes and as we explain if you are gambling on the movement of a market over a two minute period it really is gambling and is really down to pure luck which is recognised by the fact that this form of gambling is treated for tax purposes in exactly the same way as casino gambling.
Financial gambling really can be a lot of fun and you do not have to be an expert to participate, you can start for very small stakes although as we said above, spread betting can involve winning or losing far more than your original stake but you can also go for very large stakes if you are feeling lucky. Most good bookmakers will provide tutorials on how to gamble and how financial betting works and before you try it with your own money Ladbrokes will allow you to try financial betting for free so you can see exactly what happens.