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Gambler and author Geoff Harvey says that, contrary to public opinion, he suspects spread bettors are not as big risk-takers as it might be thought. It employs the whole psychology and mechanics of the stock market. The nature of spread betting also gives one of gambling’s biggest thrills: the hope of that big win, but with the risk on the other side.


Disturbingly GamCare, the counselling service for problem gamblers, sees more spread clients looking for help than in any other area of betting. Some of their stories are terrifying— people losing houses, businesses and families because of their losses. None more so than the man who lost more than £100,000 after buying series runs in a recent England versus West Indies Test series only to see the first match make-up at zero when it was washed out by a freak rainstorm.


As a beat reporter I remember covering county court proceedings and seeing the cases of Sporting Index or City Index against some hapless client who had lost heavily on a sporting or financial bet and was being sued. Now the good news. Do not panic; such horror stories are very much the exception. One of the reasons may be that they are all too aware of the possible horror result.