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High School’s Unknown Addiction

By Ian Benepe, Joel Herberman, and Matt Levin

Sports are a way to make new friends, exercise, and follow a team. However, they are also a way for students to gamble and potentially lose a lot of money. Whether it is fantasy sports or simply betting on the results of a game, students can get addicted and lose hundreds or thousands of dollars. Factor in today’s technology and the increase in gambling apps, and it has never been easier to gamble. New apps such as DraftKings and Fanduel take gambling to a whole new level. These companies are advertised almost everywhere, even influencing people under 21 years old (the legal gambling age in Maryland). The advertisements of these betting services are often misleading, often citing the examples of people who have won thousands of dollars by using their site. However, this success is the exception, not the rule. Recently, DraftKings was sued by the New York Attorney General’s office for millions of dollars due to false advertising. Following this suit and others, 11 states have blocked their state’s residents from betting on daily fantasy websites. However, these services remain legal in Maryland because fantasy sports contests are exempt from gambling laws. Separating fantasy sports from gambling laws is a controversial topic around the country. While fantasy sports do take some skill and effort, just like other forms of gambling, it is mainly betting on faith. DraftKings and Fanduel are popular among B-CC students. One student who is a casual DraftKings user claims to have “lost about 100 dollars in four days due to DraftKings.” We asked some DraftKings users at B-CC why they used the app. One student said “it makes the game more exciting for people who don’t have a team to support, and the chance to win lots of money adds to that excitement.” Another student who is an active fantasy sports gambler says he loses up to 20 dollars a week on such apps. In the state of Maryland the legal betting age is 21 years old, but daily fantasy services do not fall under these gambling laws. DraftKings and Fanduel state that the minimum age for using the site is 18 years old. Most B-CC students using these sites are under the required age, yet there is nothing stopping them from gambling by giving a false age or identity. One can easily download DraftKings to see how easy it was to get started. Within two minutes, one can type in a false birthday, a credit card number and begin using the app. The restrictions put on these gambling apps really are not restrictions at all. The issue of gambling is not unique to B-CC, however. This trend is sweeping across many schools throughout the country. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, 60-80% of high school students have gambled in the past year; 10-14% are at risk of developing a gambling addiction. While many people are aware that gambling is a serious issue, virtually nothing has been done to stop people from logging on to websites like these and wasting their money. If no one acknowledges this issue and takes action, the problem of gambling addiction among high school students will only get worse

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Posted by on Mar 9 2017. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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