Column: Don’t give into the pressure of sports betting

Ayron Rutan, Staff Writer

The rush one gets from watching their favorite team win an exciting game is something that is undeniable, just ask any sports fan. Similar to this rush is that which comes after winning a big payout on a risky bet. Combine the two, and you’ve got a dangerous high that leads many to financial ruin via sports gambling addiction. The industry’s growing popularity amongst young adults may spell trouble for many college-age sports fans.
After first becoming legalized in late 2019 and fully moving to the online space in early 2021, the popularity of sports betting in Michigan has soared at an alarming rate. Within the first ten days of legal online wagering, state bettors placed over $100 million in wagers. By the end of 2021, Michigan would close back to back months with over $500 million in wagers.
This gambling abundance isn’t just unique to the Mitten State however, as online sportsbooks have exploded all over country. Sports betting is now legal in 30 states, with Maine and Massachusetts set to join the list later this year.
As sports betting has become more popular and accessible than ever with apps like DraftKings and FanDuel, the industry is reaching a much younger audience that it never has before. A recent study found that nearly 53% of Americans aged 21-29 bet on sports online.
Why is something like gambling becoming so much more popular amongst young people? For starters, young people have grown up in a digital age. They have grown up in a time of phones, tablets, laptops and apps. Because of this, the process of online sports betting appeals to them because it’s familiar to them. Instant gratification has been a staple of digital age and nothing grants that gratification as well as mobile apps.
Combined with numerous bet matches (when the sportsbook matches a bettor’s deposit) and boosts (when the sportsbook increases odds for a bigger payout), sports beting apps are a dangerous place for young and impressionable sports fans. Without a trip to the local casino being necessary to place bets, far more people who may have never thought about gambling have the ability to sucked in as long as they have a phone and internet service.
Most of the popular apps out right now also have casino games available to play. This means users have access to Blackjack, Roulette, Poker, Baccarat – all right in their own pocket.

While I have no fundamental quarrels with gambling, I do think that the growing popularity of mobile sports betting is something that should not be overlooked. The ability to wager large amounts of money with the push of a button and from your own home is a dangerous one for young adults to possess.

At any moment, GV students and other college students could lose their tuition in a matter of minutes. For all of those at GV who enjoy mobile sports betting, my advice is to just be careful.
Don’t bet more than you can afford to lose, and think about your future before you cook up that next parlay.