Cranford High School’s Newest Epidemic: Teenage Gambling

Cranford High School’s Newest Epidemic: Teenage Gambling

Joseph Meola, Writer

Most High School students lose their innocence early on in their four years before college with partying, drugs/alcohol, and relationships all looming over their heads. These are typical occurrences that seem almost routine at this point in our society. One thing has changed though; students have picked up gambling. 

How do you watch professional or college sports? Probably rooting for your favorite team or pulling for the underdog. This has changed now, at least for CHS, as dozens of High School students are finding themselves involved with illegal sports betting websites to make some fast cash. One thing they don’t realize: most betting ends with a loss and not a financial gain. This is troubling because as the age of bettors decreases the riskier and stupider bets they make. A cause of this is how the betting takes place online and through virtual currency, not real cash, so it is hard to keep track of how much you lose and what debt you could fall under. 

One anonymous gambler tells us, “I didn’t really expect to make much money. I kind of use it as a way to make the games more exciting,” when asked his expectations going into it. Even with this outlook it is still too hard to predict, “I thought New England over the Titans was definitely going to hit, but they lost,” he says when describing past losses. This mindset is something that is detrimental to the minds of teens, as well as their pockets.

One of the biggest issues with the whole idea is how addictive it really is, especially with younger people. The opportunities are endless with some websites offering categories from college football to the presidential election to make wagers on. With the wide variety of contests to bet on it is easy to gamble often, even every night. Once this becomes a habit it can simply get out of hand, resulting in young people who should be worried about algebra being more focused on getting out of gambling debt.