Betting Blitz
Media, News, Sports

Betting Blitz

By Fancy Robbins

Life is all about the risks you take. Sometimes it can be positive, leading to new experiences and opportunities. Other times it can lead toward addiction.

A huge risk that millions of people around the world take would be gambling, whether it’s going to a casino, playing poker or placing bets.

For some, it’s relatively harmless fun. For others, it results in falling into a rabbit hole that’s easy to get into and hard to escape.

Within the last five years, sports betting in America has boomed. It’s become so popular because of how simple it is to do. 

The industry grew by 75 percent from 2021 to 2022, according to Visual Capitalist, an online media site which creates infographics about different statistics.

Companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel have made this possible by creating apps accessible from a cell phone. It just takes a few taps on your phone screen to place a bet, which can be done from the comfort of your own couch or anywhere else.

You can’t escape it – sports betting ads are everywhere. This is especially true while watching a game since DraftKings sponsors some of the biggest professional sports leagues, such as the NBA, NFL, NHL, UFC and the PGA Tour.

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A few mobile sports betting ads in popular places. (Graphic Illustration By Fancy Robbins)

It should come as little surprise that now teenagers are attracted to mobile sports betting.

The legal age to gamble in Indiana is 21, but teenage bettors have found a way around it. They do so by using foreign apps such as Underdog Fantasy Sports and Bovada. This makes it easy for people under 21 to bet. 

“(Underdog) didn’t even ask me for my age, it just asked for my credit card,” said one Delta junior who bets on sports.  He was granted anonymity for this article because he’s too young to bet.

The junior said he occasionally will ask his parents for money for food, but in reality he said he’s sometimes using this money to bet on sports.

Another way some underage bettors have bypassed the law is by using someone’s ID who is over the age of 21.

A senior bettor, who also was given anonymity,  said he used an older friend’s ID on his account. On top of sports betting, he plays games like poker and blackjack.

He said he thinks it’s an easy way to make money if you know how to do it correctly. 

“I think I already have a gambling addiction now,” the senior bettor said. “But I’ll keep gambling when I’m older.”

Both of these students think it’s okay for underage people to illegally bet, but other Delta students have different opinions.

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“It’s a bad habit that can lead to a gambling addiction,” sophomore Tru Swoboda said.

Freshman Dawson Stanley agrees with Swoboda.

“You should focus on school, work, paying for food and gas, not wasting money on gambling,” Stanley said.

Other students think that sports betting is a good way to make money and high school students should be allowed to do it.

“You can lose 100 percent of your money, but gain 200 percent,” senior Preston Shanayda said.

An additional anonymous student said he bets because it’s fun and makes watching the games more interesting.

Multiple students at Delta believe that since it’s their own money, they should be able to bet, even though it’s illegal.

Health teacher Jacob VanPelt said he sometimes bets on sports himself, but he thinks high school students shouldn’t be able to wager actual money. 

“At the young age of high school students it could potentially be more addicting to them,” VanPelt said. “But, if there was an app that they could bet with fake money I think that would be something that would be fine.” 

Omada, Fliff and WagerLab are examples of this. Anyone of any age can download the apps and bet because there is no real money involved. These are known as “social sportsbooks.”

Science teacher Terry Summers also thinks that betting real money is not a good activity for high school students.

“Students aren’t always able to think rationally to make ‘good’ decisions, and therefore can’t manage their money well,” Summers said.

March 4, 2024

About Author

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fancyrobbins Fancy Robbins is a junior taking her third year of journalism at Delta High School. Some of her hobbies include playing softball, listening to music, and hanging out with friends.


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