Should Sports Gambling Be Legalized?
Gambling is a common practice throughout human history, one that appeals to the individual’s desire for gain and offers the thrill of risk or uncertainty. Sports gambling is the “wagering of money or other items of value on the outcome of a sporting event, dependent either wholly or in part on chance” (Thompson, 2008, p. 1). Sports gambling generates billions of dollars annually, with large events like the Super Bowl or World Series alone able to generate wagers in the billions of dollars. This research will explore the arguments of those who oppose sports gambling and those who support it in order to answer the question: Should sports gambling be legalized? There are many
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Another major argument put forth by those who are opposed to legalized sports gambling is the potential for gamblers to become addicted. Famous sports players like Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and John Daley admit to losing tens of millions of dollars on sports gambling. Even more worrisome, gambling addiction is on the rise among high school and college adolescents. As Headley (2007) reports, “ESPN estimates that 118 million Americans, some as young as 14, are caught up in a riptide of sports gambling that is rapidly jeopardizing the integrity of the sports we enjoy, as well as the futures of those who wager” (p. 1). College students are at an age where they are “developmentally prone” to gambling, and according to the NCCA 35 percent of make college students bet on sports compared to 10 percent of their female counterparts (Headley, 2007, p. 1). Gambling addiction have become so prevalent among college students that recently the NCAA has developed a program of education and awareness about the dangers of sports gambling and gambling addiction aimed at high school students. Known as “When Gambling Takes Control of the Game,” the program aims to educate high school students about the dangers of gambling and the signs of addiction (Funderburk, 2007). As one NCAA representative explains, “The better we educate high school student-athletes on this issue, the better they’re going to be when they come in to our college campuses”