NORWICH, Conn. — Story by Shane Baran, Norwich Free Academy
New London County has two of the biggest casinos in the country, therefore exposing local children to gambling at an early age.
Teens in southeastern Connecticut often go to the casino to hangout with friends, but now teens aren't just exposed to gambling at the casino, but almost everywhere they look. With the legalization of sports betting in Connecticut and around the country, its popularity has increased.
Through social media, TV commercials, radio, and billboards, teens are exposed to gambling more than ever. Even many sporting events now showcase gambling odds as they encourage viewers to participate.
Because of this, teenagers think that it is okay to play, even though they are underage.
Teens like Colby Ayuyu say, “I don’t see the big problem with it, but I can see how it’s addicting.”
But why are kids so interested in sports betting? UCFS Gambling Addiction Specialist Casey Little says, “People think it’s different from regular gambling because there’s some skill involved.”
Contrary to slots or poker people believe because they know how a team or a player is performing it is more of an educated guess as opposed to pure luck.
There is still risk of forming a gambling addiction at a young age with sports betting, if not higher than other methods, due to the constant accessibility through online sites like FanDuel, DraftKings, and Caesars Sports book.
One thing is for sure, when betting online people can remain anonymous and not immediately see their money disappear, making it even more addictive. The dangers in sports betting are there, and it’s almost impossible to avoid the marketing.
What is possible is to understand you have to be 21 to gamble, and there are real dangers when teens participate.
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