Hold 'em or fold 'em?

Recently, the state of Indiana passed a law allowing for sports betting. Prior to Sept. 1, betting on sports was illegal in the state of Indiana. On Oct. 3, online sports betting was introduced to the game. 

 

With the passing of this law, anyone 21 or older, within the bounds of Indiana, can place bets online via certain apps. It is not uncommon for those who live near the Indiana border to drive to Indiana, place a bet and then leave, as you have to be inside Indiana state lines to place an online bet. 

 

Since the introduction of online sports betting, betting on sports has seen a tremendous increase. Whether this is due to people feeling more comfortable betting from their home, or people outside of the state, this increase hasn’t gone unnoticed. 

 

Sports bets can be placed on major league sports such as the National Football League and the National Basketball Association, as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 sports. 

Considering that Valpo is a Division 1 school for athletics, this is something that reigns problematic and can hit close to home for some students here. 

While betting is generally a bad idea, the idea of online sports betting on collegians is absurd. Not only are you using talented athletes to make yourself money, you are adding to the stress load of student athletes, as they already have a lot of stress as it is. 

From having away games that causes them to miss class, to practice that causes them to have little free time, college athletes have a lot on their plates. 

With the addition of bets being placed on their game outcome comes added stress and responsibility. 

First off, betting will increase pressure being placed on student athletes. Not only are their coaches and school counting on them to “get the w,” but strangers will also be counting on them. 

Also, coaches might push student athletes harder due to this monetary outcome tied with their performance. While the coaches probably aren’t betting, someone close to them might be. This may cause coaches to be harsher on the athletes. With this being the least plausible outcome of sports betting, it is still something to make note of. 

One “positive” thing about the legalization of sports betting though, is integrity and a sense of accountability. Now that everything is legal, it is being properly recorded. If you bet, your name and all your information is recorded, meaning you are not able to scam your way out of paying up. 

Overall, sports betting, especially betting on Division 1 athletes, is something that should be seriously looked into. Not just for the concern of gambeling addiction that comes with betting, but also for the safety of college athletes. 

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.

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