Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Is Betting on Greyhounds Better Than Investing in the Stock Market?

Seriously, can someone quantify the return on a month of Saturday night betting at the dog track versus the S&P over the same time period?  It seems like betting on one dog at a time, you've got a 1 in 8 chance of picking the winner.  And you can do better than 1 in 8 because you've got a book full of odds, history, handicaps, etc.  Or you can rely on my dad's trick for dog picking, which is to see which dog voids himself just prior to the race, and pick that one because "he's lighter".   

I know nothing about betting on dogs, and have done pretty well every time I go to the track.  Since we all know stock picking doesn't work (according to the author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street, a study was conducted where chimps were given copies of the WSJ and darts, and their picks performed as well or better than those selected by "experts"), a comparative investment would have to be the S&P, which historically (over the last 100 years) returns about 12%.  I'm pretty sure I could beat 12% over a month of bets.  

You could never make this claim with casino games like roulette or craps, but I think a skilled player could beat a 12% return in poker as well as dog or horse betting.  Thoughts?? 

1 comment:

  1. In my brief flirtations with alternate careers (professional dancer was one), I also considered professional gambling. My stepfather-in-law gambles like a crazed mofo, and he's on the black-card ($100K +) customer level with his favorite dins of debauchery. Texas Hold'em, video poker, and blackjack all have fantastic odds. Is there a downside??