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A punter is below an Average Joe, and above a loser. A Joe might gamble on horses, as a matter of course, making measured, conservative bets. A loser might be a compulsive gambler, who just keeps playing no matter what. A punter is someone who makes small, risky bets, but doesn't (necessarily)  win. A Joe, lacking female companionship, might go out for a solitary movie. A loser might engage a prostitute. A punter goes to the stripper bar, and hopes that he might be invited into the Champagne Room. A Player may pick up a woman in a bar. A Winner, of course, already has a woman. 

Punters go to theaters, themselves, of course, usually at pajama matinees, where they're seen clutching weak cocktails and discussing Hitchcock. In fact, daytime living is punter living, whether they're retired or not: they tend towards Early Bird Specials, Afternoon Delights, and so on -- expensive places with large amounts of hard liquor and hard bodies scare them off. Neither do they necessarily gravitate to "simple, healthy pleasures": the Punter would never be seen hiking, doing yoga, or enjoying a carnival. 

There is a point where a punter might ascend the ranks and become a Player: if the horses he favors, no matter the odds, win.  If he actually is invited to the Champagne Room, he is a Player.  Punters almost always never see themselves as such, even after they cross the hazy line between them and Joe-dom. The more deluded may even see themselves as Players, even as they become Losers. In fact it's the delicate quality of hope and pathos that distinguishes the Punter. Punters believe, even when the chips are down, and the night shifts to an uneasy dawn, that they will become winners, if only because they'll do things that a Joe may not.