Sports·BRING IT IN

Hockey gambling expert's personal experience shows good and bad of sports betting

The first rule of sports betting: don't bet on sports. That's what hockey gambling expert Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic told CBC Sports' Morgan Campbell on the latest episode of Bring It In.

Latest episode of CBC Sports video series Bring It In goes deep on newly legal activity

CBC Sports' Morgan Campbell, left, and The Athletic's Dom Luszczyszyn, right, discuss all angles of legalized sports betting in the newest episode of Bring It In. (CBC Sports)

The first rule of sports betting: don't bet on sports.

That's what hockey gambling expert Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic told CBC Sports' Morgan Campbell on the latest episode of Bring It In.

Campbell's full interview with Luszczyszyn is featured among the video series' deep dive into all aspects of sports betting — the good, the bad and the ugly. The video also features interviews with Northstar Bets CEO Michael Moskowitz and CBC Sports contributor Dave Zirin.

The episode is available exclusively on CBC Gem.

Luszczyszyn's statistical model, which weighs individual players, team success, rest and game location to formulate win probabilities on any given game, informs daily betting guides he posts to the website.

Luszczyszyn said he's turned a profit in every season in which he's used the model. Even so, he acknowledged going through "dark stretches" of losing, especially during this past season. But as the losses piled up, Luszczyszyn kept betting things would turn.

He's not sure whether to call it an addiction.

"It's hard to really discern when it's become a part of my job and career and because I know that I'm good at it, it's hard to know where that line is," Luszczyszyn said. "But I think for me going forward, knowing what I went through this year, knowing how dark things got, there are definitely signs and red flags of understanding where things are a bit too much and understanding and what point I need to stop."

The hockey writer fully detailed his experience with gambling in an April Twitter thread, weeks after single-game sports betting became legal in Ontario.

The move was a long-time coming and celebrated by many. But with it came the onslaught of advertisement from gambling companies trying to attract more users — and their money. 

The ease with which Ontarians can now gamble on sports leads to additional risk of financial troubles and addiction.

"The casual person going into sports betting — if they don't know any better, if they don't know who to follow, if they are just going by their gut — they'll probably lose money long-term," Luszczyszyn said. 

To that end, he advised setting aside a bankroll (money one can afford to lose on gambling) and not moving past that limit, while allocating only up to three per cent of that total per each bet.

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