Students turn to online sportsbooks

Sports betting apps such as Fanduel and Draft Kings have grown popular among the student body, despite the age restrictions put in place. – Jeffrey Yang ’22

Amidst the pandemic, students look for new forms of entertainment to keep them busy during their free time.

Many of the pre-pandemic options are now unavailable, such as spending a few hours at the movies, going out to dinner, or attending sporting events

     With these options off the table, some upper school students turn to online sportsbooks to add a level of excitement. 

     In 2020, the state of Pennsylvania produced $3.6 billion in wagers, with $3.3 billion coming from online wagers.

While the legal betting age for the online sportsbooks in Pennsylvania is 21 years old, students find ways around this rule. Their names have been changed to protect their identities.

     “My dad lets me use his information,” Student A said. “I started using FanDuel Sportsbook in December of 2019, and still use it now. I would say I place three-to-four wagers a day, usually $10-15 on each one.”

    Although some students enjoy placing bets on all sports, for others, it is just a seasonal hobby.

     “I used to bet a lot when football was on because it is fun to watch, but since the Super Bowl, I have not been betting much,” Student B said. “I never wager a lot, just some smaller bets with longer odds to potentially win a lot. Overall, I am up a good amount of money.”

    While some only place small wagers, others are willing to risk more.

    “I usually place wagers every night… Overall, I’ve profited around $100. Depending on how confident I am, I usually bet between $15-$50 on each bet,” Student C said. 

    Although several students make their own picks, others rely on outside sources.

   “I get my picks from a variety of Twitter accounts. They have been winning relatively consistently throughout the past couple of years,” Student A said. 

   Since leagues like the NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB  re-started in late summer and early fall, students have noticed a considerable increase in betting amongst their peers. 

    “I would say around 20% of my friends have access to apps like DraftKings or FanDuel,” student B said. 

    Student A agreed, saying, “I think around 15-20% of my friends place bets regularly.”

Author: Ryan Rodack '22

Ryan serves as an Editor-in-Chief for and is in his fourth year working for The Index. He previously served as the arts section editor and a managing editor. In the spring of 2021, Ryan earned recognition from the Scholastic Writing Awards for for his piece features piece, “Mr. Andrén pursues his dream job.” Ryan most frequently covers the sports, features, and news sections in his writing.