The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

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April 3, 2024
To bet or not to bet
March 21, 2024

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To bet or not to bet

Everyone loves money—that’s no secret. People love earning money, especially when there’s an easy way to earn it. Enter: betting. 

Betting first saw a spike in its participants when the practice became accessible to cellphones with the click of a button. Online sports betting became extremely popular in the early 2000s, and has become even more common in recent years because in today’s world people can bet on any sporting event at any time at any place. It is much more accessible than going to a casino and placing bets that way, which was previously the most widely available method.

This much more convenient way of doing things is a blessing and curse. Betting becomes much more dangerous when anyone, at any time, at any place can place a bet on whatever they wish. 

Traditional betting is the practice of placing money on a team based on who they think would win, who would lose, how many points a team would score, the spread of the game, etc. However, today the things that can be bet on are countless. Whether that be if you think the bases will be loaded at the end of the fourth inning or what team will score first, the options are endless for sports bettors. 

Ever since this practice became exceptionally popular, many people have developed serious addictions. Sports betting companies know what they are doing. They know how to lure people in and get them to keep betting so in the end the companies make more money. People first get into gambling with the intention to make money, and when they keep losing they get in the constant spiral of doing it over and over again until they are so deep into the cycle that it gets difficult to get themselves out of the addiction. 

Aside from the fixation on sports betting, the other issue with this is the large number of underage sports bettors. According to an article by “Education Week,” 60% of high school students are active sports bettors. Beside the fact that underage betting is illegal, many more problems arise from such young people participating in betting. People at such young ages have a difficult time understanding that more times than not, betting is not worth the risk. It is much easier for teenagers to fall into addiction than adults. Due to teenagers’ brains not being fully developed as opposed to adults, it is much more likely for teens to try new experiences and partake in activities similar to betting. In order for one to not fall in a downward spiral of betting, full brain development is vital to bettors because without it, teenage bettors don’t understand the full impact of betting and losing out on a bet. It is hard for them to comprehend that once they lose once or twice they probably shouldn’t continue betting, but they rather ignore this and fall deeper into what the betting companies want, which is more bettors and more money. 

Essentially, is betting really worth the risk? Nine times out of 10, probably not. A good rule of thumb, that the majority of people don’t follow, is only bet what you’re willing to lose—and the truth is that no one enjoys losing money. 

If you or someone has a gambling problem, call 1-800-662-4357. 

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About the Contributor
Elin O'Brien
Elin O'Brien, Opinions Editor
Left-hand enthusiast 

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