Billions of dollars were recently bet on arguably the most thrilling sports event of the year: the Super Bowl. Perhaps due to its popularity, the criminality of gambling on sports is overlooked in our country. Why? Perhaps it is not as threatening or dangerous as other crimes. Maybe it happens so often that officials cannot arrest every single person who commits the crime. Betting is morally wrong on such a large scale, it should be illegal. Betting may have its benefits, like winning ten times the amount of money you originally had (once out of every fifty times), but the risks greatly outweigh the benefits.
Betting can easily become an addiction, like becoming addicted to alcohol or smoking; a large amount of money goes into the addiction, and little comes out. Gambling is a harmful addiction that lures its victims in with the slim chances of doubling or tripling their original money. People who are addicted to gambling can dig themselves into a deep hole, and may not be able to get themselves out.
Gambling would ruin the purity of sports. The beauty of not knowing the outcome of an event one feels so passionately about is thrilling and exhilarating, and it captures the essence of the game. If betting was to become legal, this essence would be lost. Games would be fixed, players would not put in their full effort, and sports would lose their wholesomeness. In Europe, where betting is legal, there are countless reports of fixed soccer matches. Even in American history, fixed events encouraged by betting have occurred. In 1919, the “Black Sox” intentionally tried to lose the World Series because of a promise of monetary benefit from gamblers.
Gambling robs both individuals and sporting events of their purity. Betting makes people cheer for one team over the other because of money, not the love of the game.