Online gambling is a recent trend trickling down to high school students. What once was a simple sporting event has transformed into one of the biggest platforms for gambling.
Bets can be made on the team that wins, how much a team wins by and also on certain player’s statistics for that game. Gambling sites, the most famous being Fanduel and Draftkings, have taken over the gambling world and are continuing to grow. These sites have an age restriction of 18 but this restriction is easy to bypass for those who are under 18 years old. 56 million Americans play daily fantasy sports and that number is continuing to increase. Gambling is known to be fun for all who win but the problem is once someone wins, they feel the need to go back for more. Gambling can be addictive and dangerous, especially for those who are young and inexperienced.
One of the most common forms of gambling is through fantasy football. The fantasy draft happens before week one of the season begins, and the team that each player drafts is their team for the rest of the season. Each team that participates in the league enters a fee chosen by the league manager before the draft date. The fantasy football season lasts for 16 stressful weeks until a champion is crowned. The entry fee of each team goes into the pot that the champion and the person who comes in second place receive. Entry fees can vary from less than $10 to hundreds of dollars. Although football can be a stressful sport for fans to watch, the stress is amplified by the amount of money that is on the line. Students like freshman Brett Strauss love the thrill of fantasy football and the competition it presents. “I love beating my friends in fantasy but when I lose my match up it can ruin my day,” Strauss said.
Online gambling sites such as Fanduel and Draftkings are much more threatening to teenagers. These gambling sites have contests on the daily basis that can vary from five cents to $10,000. Anyone with an account can make a new lineup and enter it to any contest they wish as long as they have sufficient funds for that contest. There are contests for the NBA, MLB, NFL, and various soccer leagues. If one night is not successful, there is always a chance to rebound the next night. The scary part is that win or lose, gamblers always come back wanting more.
Junior Garrett Koch is an avid Fanduel player who has continuously been successful on these sites. “You win some, you lose some, but I win more than I lose, which leads me to be successful and make money,” Koch said.
Teenagers are young and are seeking adventure and thrill in their lives and although gambling is dangerous, there is no doubt about the thrill that it presents. Students hear about their friends gambling and want to get in on the action so they aren’t left out and can join in on discussions about lineups for these contests. Junior Annie Clampitt hasn’t fallen to peer pressure and has avoided the trend of teen gambling. “Gambling can be very costly and I’d rather spend my money on better products that I can actually use,” Clampitt said.