Vai al contenuto

The role of luck in gambling

Luck is one of the most exploited concepts in gambling.

Gambling companies are very good at marketing. In the collective imagination, also thanks to countless movies and tales, gambling has come to represent a shortcut to achieve our dreams. Lotteries and casinos, leveraging our desire of power and money, have mastered advertisement campaigns in order to sell us the illusion of a quick jump to a higher status quo.

Of course, most people are able to discern such illusion from reality, and build a life based on solid foundations. The vast majority of people are able to gamble just for fun, away from unrealistic expectations. However, for other people, the combination of this suggestive idea about gambling and aggressive marketing of its products, can be quite harmful. It can exploit personal weaknesses and turn what should be a form of entertainment into an irresistible temptation.

The most frequently used term in gambling marketing campaigns is, by far, “Luck”.

But what is luck, really? The definition of what luck is differs from one person to another depending on a number of factors such as culture, beliefs, religion and even the education level.


In various parts of the world, depending on the folklore, luck is thought to be created in various ways. For instance, in Serbia, luck is believed to come by if you spill water on someone’s back. In the UK and in the US, if you repeat the word ‘rabbit’ to yourself a number of times, you are bringing good luck to yourself. In Italy you must avoid walking under a ladder at all costs. The list goes on and on, and it can get even more interesting.


Another way of looking at luck is to interpret is as a consequence of a state of mind. In this regard, luck is about pessimism and optimism. Some people may claim to be lucky themselves. In business, optimism usually reflects in a positive approach, which can benefit productivity. Being optimistic in life is good and it has been proven to have a positive impact in many aspects. As a matter of fact, there is a whole new branch of psychology studying the benefits of a positive state of mind.


Finally, some other people resort to luck when they find it difficult to explain certain outcomes with logic. For example, when something that is not expected to happen, happens, we all tend to refer to it as an event brought by good or bad luck. In this regard, luck is a mere expression of volatility or variance.

Looking at all that, conclusively luck is how one chooses to look at things.

When it comes to gambling, we need to be careful when bad luck is use to justify a gambling loss. Using this approach in gambling can be tricky and dangerous, as it confuses volatility with luck. Volatility can’t be removed or influenced by anything. And while the concept of luck can be amusing and naive on one side, believing too much in it can lead to poor judgment and costly errors.

Therefore, it is important to keep a few clear concepts in mind:

  • Luck cannot be controlled by the amount of confidence in an outcome.

It’s preferable to think that the chances of being lucky and the chances of being unlucky are equal. Being conscious that a win or a loss can both happen, one can limit the expectations on the winning outcome.

  • Gambling requires awareness, not hopes.

When one decides to take part in gambling, it needs to be done looking at both sides of the coins (winning vs losing). If a negative outcome is likely to have a bad effect in your life, be it immediate or in the long run, it is better to avoid gambling all together.

  • Gambling should not be taken as the ultimate dream builder.

Placing your hopes of a successful life on gambling does more harm than good. There is no guarantee that even a likely event will occur, and there is no limit of the consecutive series of losses that can occur in gambling. A successful life should be pursued in other ways: through studying and working, with method and dedication.

Remember: “Hard work is the easiest way to reach success!

Of course, these warnings do not apply to gambling only. Casinos and bookmakers are not the only businesses to make profits leveraging on our emotions. If we pay attention, we can notice how psychological tricks are used heavily in marketing campaigns by any industry.

For instance – when was last time you saw a commercial promoting a product featuring sad people? Happiness as a human emotion is leveraged everywhere around us. The same way, the gambling industry leverages the concept of luck.