and sports go together
By Kenny Reid
December 15, 2006 | Which came first, the chicken or
the egg? The same can also be said for sports and gambling.
Sports and gambling are pretty much inseperable these
days. If there is a college or professional sporting
event going on, you can bet someone is gambling on it.
It makes you wonder whether sports were invented to
make betting more interesting or if betting was invented
to make sports more interesting. It could be a friendly
wager between friends or a large bet placed online.
With easy access to the Internet for just about everyone,
its only a click away to place a bet on the big game.
The NFL football season only has a few weeks left
of the regular season. This can only mean one thing,
the Superbowl is not too far away. The Superbowl is
the biggest sports betting day of the year. According
to ABC News, an estimated $500 million will be bet on
the game through off shore web sites and call centers.
This all has to be done outside the United States since
online gambling is illegal in the U.S. An estimated
60 million people worldwide will place bets on the game.
People place bets on far more than just the winner of
the game or the score. Anything from the number of yard
a player has, total fumbles, how many times the TV shows
the cheerleaders or even what color the Gatorade dumped
on the winning coach will be can be bet on.
The NCAA basketball tournament, or March Madness,
is also heavily bet on. According to the Federal Bureau
of Investigations, over $1 billion is illegally bet
on the tournament over the course of the whole month.
Nate Copier, a senior majoring in speech communications,
said he likes filling out brackets for March Madness
but never spends any money actually betting on it. "I'm
a poor college student. I don't any money to be throwing
away," Nate said. Other sporting events are also bet
on. Any of the four professional sports NBA, NFL, MLB
and NHL and car, horse and dog racing are bet on regularly.
Fantasy Sports are also a big part of the sports betting
market. A fantasy sport is a game were fantasy owners
build teams and play against other owners based on statistics
of individual players. Fantasy sports can be played
for free but many people choose to play for actual money.
This means people are actually betting on individual
players in any number of sports. Owners pick and bet
on players who they think will do well for their teams.
Marty Archibald, a junior majoring in print journalism,
said he has a lot of fun playing fantasy sports. Though
usually he just plays for fun, once in a while he will
bet money on his fantasy teams. "It makes the games
a lot more interesting to watch when you have something
riding on it," Marty said.
While sports betting and fantasy sports can be fun
for people, there are also many problems that can come
from them. Debt and psychological problems are the two
major consequences of gambling. Students who gamble
excessively tend to have academic problems as well.
People will gamble thousands of dollars on individuals
sporting events. Thousands of people a year file for
bankruptcy due to gambling. Many people get a buzz from
gambling. Gambling raises the heart rate, blood pressure
and heart rate. This is called compulsive gambling and
according to Gamblers
Anonymous, this is an illness. "Gambling is an illness,
progressive in its nature, which can never be cured,
but can be arrested." There are many different websites
that want to help compulsive gamblers get their addiction
Sports and gambling will always be inseperable. There
will always be people betting on and rooting for their
favorite team, throwing money away because they think
they can beat the odds, and in the end, the house always
wins. So which came first, the chicken or the egg? Sports