Lowering the sports betting age does not have to be dangerous


Photo Illustration by Jacob Harris ’20

Jacob Harris, Web Editor

Since the legalization of sports betting by the Supreme Court in 2018, the rise of underaged sports betters has been very noticeable. Many people have their older friends gamble for them because they are too young. As technology continues to advance, it is virtually impossible to catch anybody doing so. Due to this, lowering the required age on sports betting would not alter the current situation very much at all. With restrictions would be a completely ethical decision.

I know a handful of students at South that bet on sports games frequently with a false identification or a different method of getting around the underage barrier. They all understand their limits, and in my opinion have no less intelligence on the subject than anybody a few years older than them might. The sports betting age of 21 seems unnecessary for many reasons. Intelligence about sports is not a thing that will improve greatly with age, and oftentimes teenagers are just as knowledgeable about the statistics and strategy in sports as adults are.

Obviously a roadblock that would come with lowering the sports betting age would be financial capabilities. Adults, for the most part, have more money and know how to better manage their money than a high school or college student. Younger betters may go overboard with money that isn’t theirs or spend too much too soon. It is very easy to acknowledge that, should the age be lowered to, say, 18, there should be restrictions until the better turns 21. Restrictions could include a cap on money gambled per week or some sort of other limit that would prevent unreasonable spending by a younger participant.

Sports betting is also a far more relaxed subject than issues like alcohol or drugs. There are no drastic consequences of allowing younger betters in the sports realm, as long as restrictions are implemented. Why should a college student not be able to throw in ten bucks on his team before he goes to root for them in the student section?

Putting money on a team is not all about the cash return for all gamblers. Many do it because it makes watching the game more enjoyable overall. It makes games that may not even include one’s hometown team interesting because there is always someone to root for.

Sports betting is not something that is necessary to include an age limit on. With restrictions and simple changes, younger betters should be welcomed to participate in the sports craze, too.