FEATURE: The World of Sports Betting

Following the legalization of sports betting, it has become increasingly popular among adults and teenagers
On online betting programs such as DraftKings or FanDuel, bettors can place cash bets on various sporting events.
On online betting programs such as DraftKings or FanDuel, bettors can place cash bets on various sporting events.
Eli Roust and Mallory Thompson

Sports betting has found its way into Free State. With access to betting sites, students look to gain some cash quickly.

Sports betting is a form of gambling that involves the prediction of a team, player, or certain situation that happens within the game. Consumers can gamble on player performance, game score, and many other different game outcomes. The more unlikely and risky a bet placed is, there is a larger opportunity to cash out on a big win. Taking the more safe bets will not flood bettors with cash, but puts a few extra dollars in their pockets.

The thrill of sports betting is credited to its quick results. The payout can occur within minutes of the game ending which means the money in bettors’ pockets immediately after their bet lands.

“It’s usually instant,” teacher and coach Jamar Reese said. “It’s a rush, it’s quick, everything’s depending on what is happening within the game.”

From college to professional sports, every game has some sort of wager available to bet on. Avid sports followers can recognize trends in performance from players or teams that influence their next bet. They can predict if a player is going to have a breakout game based on his last performance or if a team is on a hot streak. Along with that, many factors are considered before placing a large bet. Reese said when he is preparing to bet there are many different factors to look at.

“You have to look at it well, each sport is different,” Reese said. “For example, there is a big difference between college football and NFL. You look at what teams are playing and where they are playing, what players are playing, check what the weather’s gonna be like. ”

Bettors use websites like DraftKings or FanDuel to place their bets. These applications require verification processes to identify bettors’ age. In most states, the legal age to bet on sports is 21+. However, these sites ask for bettors to put their date of birth in manually, so it is easy to get false information approved, allowing large amounts of underage bettors onto these sites. An anonymous student shared how easy it is to access.

“There are a couple ways to go about it,” an anonymous student said. “You can just straight up put in an older birthdate or use the information of an adult. It certainly is not difficult to get around.”

Along with that, sports betting can be risky. Without a great financial conscience, the desire to win could produce an endless cycle of lost bets and lost money. The addiction formed from gambling poses a risk for young minds, which is the main reason why the law sets the legal age to 21. An anonymous student discussed their cap for betting.

“I didn’t keep track [of money spent], so I’ve lost quite a bit,” an anonymous student said. “I just hoped my big wins could cover my losses. Nowadays I have to set a limit on how much I bet and how frequently I do to not get hooked.”

However, sports betting brings another thrill to watching the games. Having a bet on a certain player draws the bettor to watch the game that they might not have watched before. It brings a different level of following to the sports they love. Not every bet works out, but as long as it is kept under control, it keeps the games exciting. An anonymous student spoke on the thrill of sports betting.

“It’s like a rollercoaster,” the anonymous student said. “There’s lots of ups and downs. Safe bets keep me engaged because I know I am likely to win it, but sometimes I feel lucky and go after a riskier bet. You just gotta trust what you know and when you land it, it’s truly exciting.”

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About the Contributors
Thomas Patton
Thomas Patton, Reporter
Thomas is a second year member of the journalism staff. He is Student Council co-president, an NHS officer, and a member of the student-athlete leadership team. Thomas loves to play sports in his free time.
Grant Lincoln
Grant Lincoln, Reporter
Grant is a senior this 2023-2024 school year. It is his first year as a member of Free State Journalism. He is involved in track, football, NHS and is a member of the NAACP.
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