Surge of online sports betting

Jessie Larouche
By Jessie Larouche April 14, 2023 11:59

Surge of online sports betting

By Jessie Larouche


According to figures released by iGaming Ontario, more than $20 billion in wagers have been placed in online sports gambling.

With the convenience of having a sportsbook on an app in your pocket and new betting opportunities now legalized such as single game bets and live betting, online sports betting has been on the rise, especially among a younger audience.

An informal survey conducted by the MediaPlex showed that 100 per cent of respondents under the age 25 either know someone who bets on sports or do themselves.

According to a survey conducted by, 75 per cent of college students placed a sports bet last year.

Matt Gombar outside of his job at Mr. Biggs Sports Bar. (Photo by Jessie Larouche)

“Honestly pretty much everyone in my friend group gambles on apps,” said Mathew Gombar, 20. “Almost as soon as I was of age I had an account.”

Gombar, who reached the legal age for gambling just over a year ago, says popular Twitch streamers and YouTubers were the ones who first introduced him to online gambling.

“It was and still is a huge thing online,” said Gombar. “Guys will be tweeting winnings of bets placed, streaming online gambling and it makes it look pretty fun and there is a chance of winning big money.”

According to the survey, 95 per cent of betters have won a bet before with the biggest win being $25,000.

“Winning that was pretty amazing to say the least,” said Brody Quinn, 25. “It helped me be able to move out to British Columbia and start up the next chapter of my life.”

Unlike most online sports betting where you bet on a game and what happens within it, Quinn won his big bet through another form of online sports gambling known as fantasy.

Fantasy sports allows fans to assemble a team of players and play throughout a season, as opposed to one game for a chance to win a prize pool of money.

Brody Quinn visiting Elbow Falls in British Columbia. (Photo courtesy of Brody Quinn.)

“I prefer fantasy sports because it makes every game fun,” said Quinn. “There’s some games I watch pretty much only because I have players on those teams.”

Along with gambling sometimes comes addiction, in the survey conducted 12 out of 20 people claimed to know someone who may need help. Eight out of 20 believed they themselves may have a problem.

“I for sure know a couple people that can get out of hand with it,” said Gombar. “I know my limits and stick to them.”

According to, over 750,000 people from ages 14-21 are dealing with some sort of online gambling addiction.

Older age groups also are gravitating to online gambling, as they find it convenient.

“I used to have to go to the store to ask them to print out the odds and go home and fill out a ticket,” said long time sports bettor Davin Richardson, 46. “Now I can just hop on my phone, see all the odds and bet by clicking a button.”

Jessie Larouche
By Jessie Larouche April 14, 2023 11:59

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