The Future. As legal sports betting has exploded in the US, gambling has spiked on college campuses, particularly among men. Many say they enter sports betting as a means of social connection, but many also get addicted — and without regulation, they’re unlikely to stop.
Legal sports betting and similar alternatives have infiltrated the fabric of male social life.
- Young men report that they participate in sports betting as a social activity, either to form new friendships or maintain old ones over distance.
- But sportsbooks and gambling services like ESPN Bet and Caesars Sportsbook try to lure and hook users with cash bonuses and deposit matching.
- Daily fantasy and sweepstakes, like Fantasy football and Fliff, take advantage of men under 21 by offering betting services that feel like sportsbooks and offer real cash rewards and incentives to keep gambling.
That sports broadcasting and news advertise for these services further legitimizes them.
Where’s the ref?
Young men are unusually bad at assessing risk. As sports betting gets further entangled with their social lives, they’re unlikely to stop gambling unless regulators intervene.
When two teams are on the field, it’s easy to forget that the house always wins.