The Spirit of a Gambler

By Habibi

I woke up excited to try my luck. Everyone had been talking about how PremierBet betting had become their main source of income. Some people bet on football matches, which I’d also done before, but I had lost money every time. Yet that never stopped me from being optimistic. It was finally the weekend, and a lot of games were going to be played. I decided to put my money on straight wins for ten teams, to win a million kwacha.

Having selected the teams to bet on, I got my betting slip and had high hopes of winning. I argued with my friends over the bets I made: they told me that betting on Real Madrid to beat Barcelona was the wrong choice. But I had a good feeling about it, and I went home relaxed, waiting for the games to start. I wasn’t going to watch the matches; I was going to follow the live scores on my phone.

In my excitement I screamed, “Yes!” One of the teams I bet on had won their match. I was so happy as I took out my betting slip and ticked the first team on the list. My fear of losing went down a little. Nine matches remained to win a million kwacha. At the end of the day, I had to double-check the results: seven teams on my betting slip had won! The remaining three matches were going to be played on Sunday.

On Sunday, Real Madrid won El Clásico. In the end, all of my teams won except PSG, who drew their match. PSG had denied me a million kwacha. I was crestfallen. I resolved to never bet on soccer games again. Losing a million because one team out of ten didn’t win: I couldn’t get over it, and I badly regretted betting on PSG. I decided to switch from betting on soccer games to playing virtual games.

I chose to play Aviator. Aviator is one of the virtual games on the Malawi PremierBet platform. You win money by guessing how long the plane will be visible on the screen before it disappears. An animation of a little red plane is shown on the screen. Once it takes off, a multiplier is given, which determines the potential winnings. If the red little plane crashes before you click on the “cash out” button, you lose your money. When the plane crashes, a new round begins after about ten seconds. The number of the round is shown at top of the screen, and the amount of money bet by the other gamblers is shown on the right side.

On my first day I lost some money, but I liked the game. On the next Saturday, I decided to bet ten thousand kwacha, which at the time was equivalent to ten US dollars. I started playing in the morning. My strategy was to withdraw at every 2-multiplier, meaning every amount I bet was multiplied by two, and that would be the amount I won. I played until I had won 900,000 Malawi kwacha.

In gambling, there is a spirit that makes you greedy. You win a lot of money but don’t know when to stop. You feel like you should keep playing, to win more and more money. This is the spirit that came into me after winning 900,00 kwacha in a few hours. I felt like I should keep playing; I told myself I would stop once I won two million. I kept on placing bets, and I started losing. After losing for four straight minutes, I decided to increase the amount I was betting.

I started betting a hundred thousand, which meant that with every 2-multiplier I would make a profit of one hundred thousand. I lost because I was greedy. Instead of stopping to play another day, I increased my bets to 200,000. The multiplier went up, and instead of withdrawing at two, I decided to wait until it reached ten so that I would win two million. But the multiplier only reached seven, and the plane crashed.

I lost all the money I had won. I was disappointed in myself. I vowed to stop betting, but it’s addictive, and I still find myself betting now and again. Sometimes, I use my grocery money to play Aviator. No matter how many times I lose and vow to stop betting, something pushes me to continue betting in the hope of winning. If I knew when to stop I would have won money on Aviator, but the spirit of a gambler wouldn’t let me.

13 October, 2023