Sports gambling

The legalization of online sports gambling is changing the way we interact with sports


Keven Caro, Staff Writer

Online sports gambling became legal on the federal level in 2018. With that, gambling sites and apps have reached the mainstream and are more accessible to a younger audience.

According to The Pew Charitable Trusts “Although the legal age for gambling ranges from 18 to 21 depending on the state, between 60% and 80% of high school students report having gambled for money in the past year” and according to ABC News “Up to 6% are addicted to gambling.” 

“I think teens bet on sports online because they enjoy the adrenaline rush and it’s extremely addictive,” said senior Riley Robbins. “I know a lot of kids who gamble online. There is a whole community.”

Because of that, high school students who participate in online gambling risk losing money that could be used for college, a first home, or a car. However, that is not the only danger of gambling as a young adult. Additional downsides include physical and mental health problems, relationship issues, and even legal troubles. 

According to The Pew Charitable Trusts the The percentage of high school students with a gambling problem is actually “double that of adults.” They add that “There’s a growing recognition among state legislators and health departments that the youngest gamblers need help, but that awareness has yet to materialize into widespread gambling prevention programs for youth” and that “none of the $7.6 billion in annual federal gambling tax revenue currently goes to help prevent or treat gambling addiction.” 

We are only just beginning to see the consequences of widespread online teen gambling. If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction please reach out to the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700. According to their website, The National Council on Problem Gambling operates the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network. The network is a single national access point to local resources for those seeking help for a gambling problem. The network consists of 28 contact centers that provide resources and referrals for all 50 states, Canada, and the US Virgin Islands. Help is available 24/7 and is 100% confidential.”