The Rise Of Sports Gambling

According to Forbes, 15 billion dollars was estimated to be wagered on this year’s NCAA division 1 tournament. This is a large sum; five times more than last March. The U.S has a gambling problem and it is only getting worse.

Five years ago sports betting was only legal in various states under strict conditions, but a 2018 Supreme Court ruling removed the ban, and now 33 states offer some form of sports betting.

The legalization has allowed for online sports betting to explode with DraftKings and FanDuel being the two most prominent. From 2019-2021 Draft kings Revenue quadrupled from around 300 million US dollars to almost 1.3 billion dollars. Then in 2022 they doubled their revenue once more bringing in more than 2.4 billion dollars. The success from these companies is most likely due to their aggressive and predatory advertising.

In January of 2023 booking companies spent 85 million dollars on TV advertisements alone, not including their major investment into sponsoring social media influencers and podcasts. When listening to a sports podcast, it is now almost impossible to not have a gambling ad be played during the episode. This mass advertising is not exclusive to just podcasts; it is also prevalent on Youtube. Most large sports creators on the platform have a sports betting sponsor, giving out codes for people to save money on their first deposit.

Now with the legalization of online gambling, it is much easier for youths to gamble because they can use a false identity and a credit card to place bets. This is unbelievably concerning as now instead of a kid having to go find a bookie to place their bets for them, they can just hop on their computer and place as many bets as they want, making it much easier to fuel the addiction. Even in California where sports gambling is illegal, it is still accessible through VPN that can bypass geo-blocked sites, allowing people to place bets from wherever they want.

“Young people having the workarounds and access to gambling is extremely dangerous as their brains are not developed to a point where they can make responsible risk management decisions, especially when the odds are fully against you,” said junior Ben Tallon.

This accessibility to gambling has transferred into our community. Numerous underaged students have fallen into sports betting. This could be detrimental to our communities as not only are younger people more prone into falling into addiction, according to the UK Gambling Commission one in five addicted gamblers attempt suicide, higher than any other addictive disorder.

With Campolindo trying to address mental health as a top priority, it is important they address gambling as a severe risk to kids developing depression. With the rise in these gambling statistics it is more important than ever that we educate our students and give them the resources to prevent or combat a crippling addiction.