Gambling is a very risky pass time because it often ends up losing punters money instead of making it.
We wouldn’t recommend you making it a habit!
However, if you’re partial to a bit of a flutter every now and then, we have found some cheap and safe gambling sites that can even do a bit of good. Read on to find out our safe gambling tips.
- With Pick My Postcode! you can win money for free
- With The ActionAid Lottery you’re giving to charity while being in a prize draw
- Premium Bonds are a safe flutter although you’d get more from a high-interest savings account
- Gamble for free with online competitions
- Investing in shares can be a gamble unless you keep your money there for at least five years
- Win money at the bookies without gambling a penny
Win cash with Pick My Postcode
If you want to win a substantial amount of cash, without having gambling a penny, then enter Pick My Postcode.
No money is required, all you have to do is enter your postcode and email address.
They give away £850 a day and have so far given away over £100,000.
If you want to find out more before entering, read our article all about it here, which tells you everything you need to know.
We don’t like the National Lottery at all, but we quite like the idea of The ActionAid Lottery. With ActionAid’s Lottery you’re giving more money to charity than you would with the Lottery and you have a lot more chance of winning something. Three quarters of the money you put in goes directly to ActionAid and fighting poverty. The rest is put into a draw.
This isn’t something you can just have a go at every now and then, though. This is how it works:
- You have to sign up to a monthly direct debit or monthly credit card payment, a minimum of £4.34 a month because one play costs £1 a week (which equates to £4.34 per month). Be assured, you can cancel at any time, although you have to give 4 weeks notice.
- For each play you get a unique number which is entered into the draw every week (players must be UK residents and aged 16 or over).
- Every week there are five winning tickets drawn at random by a computer.
- As there are currently only about 8,500 people playing it each week you have a much better chance of winning something this way than with the National Lottery.
So with this you can put yourself into a weekly ‘lottery’ while giving to charity at the same time.
For each play, 25p goes into the prize fund and 75p goes to ActionAid’s work to help people around the world fight their way out of poverty.
If you’d rather all your money were given to ActionAid then consider sponsoring a child through their work. Just 50p a day can transform a child’s life and give a child in poverty the opportunity to receive the education, clean water and health care they urgently need.
The good things about Premium Bonds is that they’re tax free and even if you don’t win anything, you don’t lose the cash you put in.
Also, your premium bonds odds mean you could win the jackpot, which is always a thrill.
However, the big problem with them is on average the return is less than you would get if you put the same amount in a high-interest savings account. In fact, over time your money is worth less and less because it is not growing while inflation is.
That hasn’t stopped thousands and thousands of us buying the bonds in recent years. In fact, they have been so popular in the last ten years that 87% of all existing Premium Bonds were bought between 2000-2010. Paradoxically, though, in that time the Premium Bond prize fund rate – which is the amount paid out in prizes as a proportion of the total amount invested – has dropped and the likelihood of you winning anything has also dropped, (mainly because of the increased competition).
However, if you still want to give it a go, you can put money in through their website at Nsandi.com. You’re allowed to put in a minimum of £25, and a maximum of £50,000. If you do decide to ‘invest’, don’t waste too much money on it, though. Use it as a bit of fun, like a raffle – something to take your mind off other forms of gambling.
Did you know that more than £61 million in Premium Bonds has gone unclaimed? That includes more than £8 million which has been lost in the post. So, if you do decide to give this a go, make sure you keep checking to see if you’re a winner.
One of the more safe gambling sites, of course, are those where you do it without putting any money in at all!
You can do this online by taking part in competitions or surveys. Be careful, though, as many competitions sites are just spam merchants or worse. We have our own competitions section, with a new competition most days, so you can be sure the competition you’re entering is legit. We’ve had many happy prize winners!
When it comes to online surveys, there are a few that can be trusted and we have a list of them in our online surveys article.
For example, Inbox Pounds lets you earn money for completing surveys, reading emails and more. On top of that, you get a £1 just for signing up!
Another one is the Nielsen Computer Panel which lets you win cash prizes just for downloading the Nielsen Software and leaving it installed.
Many people see the stock market as a scary, risky place to put your money, and in the short term it certainly is. However, if you put money in and leave it for at least five years it stops being a more sophisticated form of gambling and becomes genuine investing which, over time, should make serious money for you.
In fact, if you put money regularly into a cheap, index-tracking fund that tracks the FTSE 100 or the FTSE All-share you will absorb the ups and downs of the stock market over time and gradually create a decent nest egg for your future.
If you want to make it even less of a gamble then wrap it in an ISA (most of the index trackers come pre-wrapped in one anyway – you just have to ask). That way the Government gets less of your tax money to gamble away in its own sweet way!
Horse sense is what stops horses betting on people (W.C. Fields).
Have you heard about matched betting?
At first many think it sounds daunting and maybe even risky but, here’s the thing – there’s no gambling involved whatsoever!
Matched betting is a mathematical strategy that is used to take advantage of bookmaker offers that give out free bets to new and existing customers.
With matched betting you use these offers and bet them against each other to cancel out any risk, which will eventually make you a profit.