Pedro Olivas-Holguin Jr. ’25
Sports gambling, for better or for worse, has experienced a meteoric rise in recent times. Sports betting has always been around in areas such as casinos or through sports “bookies,” people who would place bets for customers; however, the reason behind the modern surge in sports gambling is centered around the internet and the accessibility it has given companies and people. Now, instead of needing to be in a certain place or having to know certain people, it is as easy as downloading an app and connecting a credit card. This level of accessibility has caused many businesses to erupt and become household names such as DraftKings, BetMGM, Fanduel, among others. These businesses have taken over ad spaces during commercials, sponsored sports-related content, and generally market anywhere and everywhere. It has become impossible to be a sports fan without at least being aware of sports betting. While this varies state by state, most sites, if even legal, are restricted to 21 and above. There are also cautionary reminders in all sports gambling related ads about the dangers of addictions and avenues to seek help. However, not all sports fans are above 21 years of age, and it begs the question of what kinds of effects seeing sports gambling normalized and even encouraged have on the youth? Players have also began pushing back, most famously Mavs’ Star Kyrie Irving was quoted saying it takes the “purity out of the game.” The concerns are there, but the industry does not seem to be slowing down. Whether it’s good for fans or players seems to be second fiddle to the success of these large corporations and the leagues they rely on.