Gambling Secrets: The Hard Truth Behind Making Money Gambling

How can you make money gambling? Here’s how I made gambling profitable as an advantage gambler for 20 years.
Gambling Secrets: The Hard Truth Behind Making Money  Gambling

Making money in gambling might sound easy. Everyone is out for a quick buck. Yet 90% of gamblers fail in poker, sports betting, and casinos.

"How can I make money in gambling?"

That's the most common question for gamblers. Been there, done that. That's how I started my business career if we consider professional gambling a career. I've seen first-hand how professional gamblers make money, having been one of them!

Yet, 20 years later, I always recommend starting an online business instead of trying to make a living off gambling.

Below, I'll explain how to make money gambling based on my experience.

And before we begin, we need to know exactly how much money there is in the gambling industry. If there isn't any, how can we make some, right?

The gambling sector is a lucrative industry, valued at $400 billion and expanding. This vast sum represents the stakes laid down by players and bettors across the globe, constituting what can be called the gambling pie.

So, if you're ready to learn how to carve out your own slice and make a living gambling, just as I managed to do over three years as a sports betting odds trader, then grab your spoon and dive into the insights I'm about to share. And we'll start with who is destined to make money gambling.

Check out what I recently wrote about gambling here.

Betting operators and casinos are guaranteed to make money in gambling

Let's kick things off by talking about the big players in the gambling world.

You've got your sports betting companies, casinos, and poker rooms leading the pack. Why?

Because the odds are always in their favor. Bookies rake in cash thanks to the vig, casinos always come out on top with their house edge, and poker rooms? Well, they're scooping up a bit of every pot with the rake.

Total global gambling market size from 2001 to 2019 [Courtesy of]

An up-to-date overview of the gambling market in the 21st century:

  • 2000-2005: Slow growth due to the developing stage of online gambling.
  • 2006-2010: Moderate growth as online platforms become more popular and jurisdictions begin to regulate online gambling.
  • 2011-2015: Significant growth due to the proliferation of online gambling and the opening of new markets in Asia and Europe.
  • 2016-2019: Continued growth with the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and further growth in online gambling.
  • 2020: A dip or stagnation might be observed due to the global impact of COVID-19 on physical casinos.
  • 2021-2023: Recovery and strong growth as online gambling surges to new heights, partly due to increased digital adoption following the pandemic.

If you want to win big and constantly, you need to start a gambling business. No other way around. You cannot take a bigger cut of the gambling pie unless you are one of these companies.

Even the most successful poker players and sports bettors cannot compete with them in profitability.

Yet, these gambling businesses are not one-man shows.

Plenty of people work in the gambling venues, from dealers and odds compilers to marketers and public relations staff. They are real businesses with business plans that guarantee them a profit for offering a service to the public. That service is entertainment. Because that is what gambling is.


For all those people to work and get paid their salaries, gambling companies need big cheques and margins. Otherwise, their business isn’t sustainable.

There are two ways to accomplish that:

  • by either having bigger-than-average profit margins or
  • by increasing their turnover.

Usually, brand-new gambling companies go for the former.

As they build up their customer base, they reduce their margins to attract more turnover and compete with the big guys. By the time a gambling operator generates sufficient revenue and net profit every year, their business is safe as long as they don’t fall behind the competition.

Then, it’s a matter of how many more gamblers find their service attractive. The more they do, the bigger the cut for the company.

Either way, gambling companies are after punters’ money. Those 400 billion dollars.

Recreational gamblers are feeding the whole gambling industry each and every year.

Even in poker, where at first glance whales (wealthy bad players) lose to better, regular players. Note “regulars”.

Eventually, those regulars will keep playing, paying rake on a daily basis, giving a portion of their winnings back to the poker room.

So, here’s the first step of how to make a living off gambling and stop feeding the gambling industry.

You want to make money gambling? Stop gambling!

If you have been gambling, stop.

Unless you are a winner, you need to stop. And since you are reading these lines, you have been losing money. So, stop losing money!

So simple.

Now that your bankroll stopped depleting, it’s time to understand the ins and outs of the gambling industry. That is known as the iGaming industry if you are gambling online.

Size of the online gaming market from 2003 to 2015 (in billion U.S. dollars) [Courtesy of]

In gambling, someone has an edge. It’s either you or the man on the other side of the betting line. That usually is the house, standing for bookmakers and casinos. That edge is either predetermined (think of roulette, where you are paid 35-to-1 on a 37-number wheel) or fluctuating (think of betting odds that move up or down).

The best way to comprehend the edge is a coin toss.

Imagine you bet on a coin flip, at less than even odds. No matter your choice of heads or tails, you are going to lose money, in the long run. You are betting on a 50-50 chance but only get paid less than double your money on each coin flip! Depending on how much less you are getting paid, your bankroll will withstand a certain amount of bets.

So, if I’m offering you 1.90 (decimal odds) for each coin flip, your money will end up in my pockets after 200-300 coin flips. That’s how you have been feeding the gambling industry. And that’s what the house edge is all about.

But how do I know how big is your bankroll?

Risk management is critical if you want to make gambling profitable

Before you even think of beating the casinos or the bookies, you must understand risk management. Also known as bankroll or capital management, risk management will be the decisive factor in your success. No matter how much edge you gain over the gambling companies, bad risk management will make your betting bankroll evaporate.

If you are going to remember one thing from this article, note this:

Always risk a maximum of 1% of your gambling money.

That’s easy to remember, right? Set aside a specific amount of money for your gambling habit and divide it into 100 parts. No matter your gambling medium, you should risk no more than one part on each bet you place.

That’s pretty much it!

That would also get you in a safe distance from disastrous staking plans, like martingale systems. When the time comes, you’ll move up to more advanced staking strategies than flat betting, such as the Kelly staking plan.

Until then, though, stick to risking 1 percent of your bankroll, and you’ll be fine.

Remember that this rule applies to small and big bankrolls alike! So, your bankroll’s size doesn’t matter when it comes to risk. Size only determines how much gambling money you will make or lose in currency terms.

Find a gambling strategy to start making money

Now comes the really tedious task of creating a profitable gambling strategy.

Finding an edge in the gambling market isn’t easy, I’ll tell you that. If it were that easy, and given the simple risk management rule I explained, everyone would be a winner. But you already know that only about 5% of gamblers can make money gambling!

In order for you to make money, someone has to lose. It’s a zero-sum game, where gambling operators also get their cut. Thus, we need to exploit the market, looking for leaks and biases, like the favorite-longshot bias .

The average gambler follows specific betting patterns. You mustn’t do the same. Always do something different, always think differently.

Be the first to … or be the best in exploiting a known fallacy.

Oh, and if you do, don’t tell the world unless you are after fame and reputation. Otherwise, your edge will diminish as more people imitate you, and the market will find its new balance.

Finally, don’t worry if your first betting system fails! Or the next 10.

3 things to do so that you can make a living off gambling

So, by now, you should have a viable gambling strategy and know how much to bet on the next game. You are on your way to becoming one of the elite professional gamblers who make money gambling. What can go wrong?

Be Disciplined

First, you may not be disciplined enough to follow your own rules! Wouldn’t it be a pity to lose money after all that research and study? Yet, even reputable and notable sharp bettors may lose their discipline after a long losing streak.

Don’t be that guy.

Trust your proven strategy, stick to your risk management plan, and always be prepared for variance. Embrace the drawdown and never question yourself at challenging times, as long as you are doing everything by the book.

Stay on your toes

By the time you experience several months or years of profitable gambling, there’s a big chance you feel… bored!

Yes, believe it or not, no matter how much money you are making in gambling, doing the same dull thing every single day will get you bored. At first, finding a fast way to make money from gambling seems like a dream. But like in every other business, routine will take the pleasure away.

Find the missed fun, by exploiting new gambling markets, trying something new or improve your gambling methods.

Don't burn out

Finally, burnout is a serious hazard in all kinds of profitable gambling. Take breaks, go on holidays, and enjoy your profits and hard work. Don’t let gambling consume you, no matter how big you are winning.

Enjoy life because, in the end, isn’t that the meaning of living?

Let’s not hurry things up, though. Most probably, you’re having a difficult time breaking even in gambling, to say the least.

Winning in the long run seems too far away at the moment. Don’t despair. Stop gambling your money away, find an edge, forward-test your strategy on paper, and do not risk more than 1% of your bankroll when you feel ready.

I am sure we’ll be hearing from you soon!

Sports Trading

I found betting exchanges in 2004.

I used to bet the regular way in online bookmakers till then, and like most, I initially found it challenging to understand what was going on in a betting exchange. Odds were moving up or down; money was waiting to be ‘matched,’ and we could act as bookmakers ourselves! Chaos drove me away in the beginning.

Little did I know I would return two weeks later and become a full-time sports betting odds trader!

Sports Trading: How I Make Money as an Odds Trader
Sports trading for a living can be done. Here’s what worked for me as a full-time sports betting odds trader making money by predicting how betting odds move.


I have been playing online poker since 2006 with moderate success. I may not have made it to the high-stakes games as a regular player, and you won’t see me on TV, but at least I have not lost money. And while that is not something to brag about, I’m happy as things turned out.

My Poker Odyssey at High-stakes & Practical Resources
Become a better poker player, dodging the blunders I made as I share what worked for me as a poker player at high-stakes tables.