Photo Illustration by Alex Gross ’24
On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 against a federal law which prohibited sports gambling in most states, opening the door for its legalization across America. Almost five years later, the decision’s effects have been far-reaching, touching the lives of Brophy students.
The majority of sportsbooks require bettors to be at least 21 years old. However, especially on digital platforms, this is extremely difficult to verify. And sportsbooks have every incentive to look the other way from underage betting when it comes to college and high school students.
Teenagers can easily download apps like DraftKings or FanDuel onto their phones, opening to them the world gambling by creating an account and linking their credit card or Venmo.
One Brophy sophomore, who wished not to be named due to potential disciplinary action, began to bet on sports around the beginning of the school year. “I saw tons of videos online and thought it looked fun and decided to try it with my dad,” he said.
Many enjoy placing bets because it creates excitement for them in games that they would typically have no interest in watching. For example, even if students were not Chiefs or Eagles fans during the Super Bowl, they could place a $20 wager on the Chiefs winning, giving them the same thrill as if the Chiefs were their favorite team.
However, this can quickly spiral. Addiction is common. One student said that after a little while, he would only watch sports if he had gambled on them, fueling the already strong urge to wager money. Additionally, it is extremely important to remember that the sportsbooks consistently produce large profits, and that the odds are stacked against the individual placing the bets.
The student previously mentioned believes it is acceptable for students to gamble on sports as long as it is limited.
“I would advise students that are thinking about betting on sports to start with a very small amount of money and only bet on a few games because it is very addicting and very hard to actually win any money. You have to be comfortable with the fact that you will likely lose money in the long run,” he said.
If you believe that yourself or someone you know might be addicted to sports gambling, The National Council on Problem Gambling’s High School Gambling Fact Sheet (https://www.ncpgambling.org/files/HS_Fact_Sheet.pdf) gives a list of symptoms common to those battling addiction. It is vital to lend a helping hand to these people if they are a part of your life.