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The student news site of Frank W. Cox High School

Falcon Press News

The student news site of Frank W. Cox High School

Falcon Press News

The student news site of Frank W. Cox High School

Falcon Press News

High school sports betting: dangerous or just a game?

“The house doesn’t beat the player. It just gives him the opportunity to beat himself.”– Gambling icon Nick “the Greek” Dandolos said. 

Much like the hopefuls who try their hand at the slots in Vegas, people are now able to gain access to gambling apps at the touch of a button. The widely popular concept of sports betting allows anyone to gamble their money on any sports team, and any of their players. Participants of sports betting apps like FanDuel or DraftKings can additionally bet on every play, every quarter, and every call.

Sports betting has particularly become favored among high school students who are looking to prove their knowledge and passion for their favorite sport. The opportunity to win money from sports betting depends on how much was wagered, what website was used, and the odds that are given to participants within their state. Players are able to create accounts with bets and wagers and fund it with their own money. Certain problems are arising as underage kids are able to download sports betting apps and sign up with their parents’ information. This invention has created a much easier entry point for gambling, which makes it accessible for minors to start as soon as possible. 

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, Approximately 4-5% of young kids meet one or more criteria of having a gambling problem. Additionally, 10-14% are at risk of developing an addiction. These students already show signs of losing control over their gambling behavior at such a young age. 

Gambling and taking chances with money as an adolescent can get very dark, very quickly. The risks outweigh the benefits for people who turn sports betting into more than a harmless game. Young teen minds absorb everything around them even without realizing it. Exposing children to addictive behaviors while brain development is still occurring can be extremely harmful to their futures and how they deal with larger issues like addiction later on in life. 

Students need to learn how to save money and be responsible with it as soon as possible. The relationship with money that sports betting creates is not something that is beneficial or sustainable. When young kids lose money off of these websites, it’s all gone. Sports betting will create irresponsible habits for kids through something that seems like only a fun activity.

Alternatively, the community that sports betting has created can give people a sense of clique and belonging. Sports betting has also revolutionized the way people watch sports and made it even more entertaining. Instead of just sitting down and cheering on a favorite team, viewers are now able to be a part of it in their own way. People watch sports because they enjoy it, and online betting adds to that passion for the sport.

Participants in sports betting love the social aspect of it. Friends can place bets on how many touchdowns Jared Goff will score in next Sunday’s game and get to see who wins big. Students will give “IOU’s”, the amount that they owe to another person, to each other based on who’s most accurate with their predictions. This way, someone in the friend group can take a huge win, or a huge loss. Larger events like March Madness and the Super Bowl are the most popular for sports betting when it comes to the student population. 

Sports betting has also had a significant impact on the economy because of how much money is going into the industry. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 out of 50 states in America make sports betting on mobile apps legal. It’s a money machine that states are loving and benefiting from. 17% of Americans join in on betting for March Madness, even though not all states are able to participate. The industry in the U.S. alone has generated $22 billion in revenue, so it’s safe to say these numbers are not decreasing any time soon.

While sports betting is extremely enjoyable and profitable, it should not be available to people under 18. The issue with the system being mobile is that people can lie and say that they’re of age or older. Mental health issues in teens are already on the rise, and sports betting being available to the youth so easily only contributes to that. These issues include increased risks of suicide, depression, and anxiety as a result of the effects of sports betting.

There needs to be more rules and regulations placed on every aspect of sports betting. This will benefit the youth and decrease the negative impact that mobile gambling could potentially have on their young minds. We as a society need to look out for our children, and prevent them from developing harmful habits that can potentially affect their future.

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