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Gambling : Safe Bet ?

Why are young athletes so susceptible to gambling ?

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Gambling athletes

With so much scandal and irresponsibility wrapped around the reputation of young professionals, is gambling all that bad in comparison to some of what we hear about ?According to Curry & Jiobu (1995) the socialization of athletes includes a major emphasis on competition and competitive juices. This competitive nature has the potential to spill over from the playing of their respective sport, straight into the athletes’ lives. In its many forms, gambling gives the athlete additional outlets in which they are able to compete, which is what their body is crying out for. Athletes like those who are heavily addicted to alcohol or drugs, can subconsciously build up a tolerance to the “adrenaline rush” associated with competition. They need to remain actively competitive even when the activities are friendly or simply for fun, ranging all the way from minor activities to high level. A good example of this phenomenon is Michael Jordan, who got into trouble by wagering on golf tournaments and fixtures in such a way. In a lot of cases, athletes may be unable to financially support themselves when their athletic careers hit a low or they are faced with retirement, and hence gambling may be a solution to their financial woes. If a competitive athlete does begin to gamble, it can take as little as one win to get the rush, and become hooked. On the other hand, I️t could take as little as one loss to want that win back, and this is how the cycle to addiction can begin. Normally, when a loss happens to an individual in gambling, the normal reaction for a person who is not at risk, or is simply participating as an innocent means of entertainment, would be to not continue. However, the competitive athlete may begin employ specific strategies and make adjustments in how they gamble, when they gamble, and what they gamble on, with the mind-set that they can create situations which will result in a win. This attitude to their sport, has thus overspilled into gambling, making these professionals extremely susceptible to gambling and it’s taking a toll on our newly rich youngsters.

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