Sports betting: a gamble?


Photo by Liam Klein

Mr. Portnoy is excited to begin his preparation to educate students on sports betting.

By Liam Klein, Can't Hear You, Airpods Are In

AP classes are a staple of students’ schedules at WCHS. Classes like AP Statistics, AP Modern World History, AP Literature, AP Biology, AP Physics, AP Computer Science and more keep students busy from bell to bell. However, there is very little variety in these courses and even less real world application that actually benefits students. That is why a new addition is being made to the wide variety of AP courses. 

Due to the recent rise in popularity of online sports betting, AP and the College Board are introducing a new course: AP Sports Betting. The course looks to capitalize on the newly found accessibility of sports betting and educate students on the basics of sports betting including how to hammer the over and cook up multi-leg parlays. 

The class will be considered a social studies elective and consist of 12 units. Lasting two semesters, AP Sports Betting units will cover topics such as betting the spread, over/unders, single game parlays, multi-game parlays, player/team props and the keys to managing your crippling gambling addiction.

“AP Sports Betting is one of our most important and impactful courses to date, however it is also without one of our most difficult rigorous courses.” The College Board,via a recent press release, said. 

According to the WCHS counseling department, over 200 students, from rising freshman to rising seniors, have signed up for the course. In fact, due to the high demand for the course, WCHS has hired a new teacher to instruct students on the rudimentary aspects of sports betting. 

Meet Professor Dave Portnoy, WCHS’s newest teacher. Mr. Portnoy graduated from the University of Michigan and is an experienced sports bettor. In his free-time, he enjoys eating pizza, blogging, watching sports and supporting small businesses.  

“I can’t wait to help educate the WCHS community on sports betting and help students improve this skill that is essential to life,” said Portnoy. “I’m very excited to finally use my skills and knowledge to help others.” 

But many are already questioning the demand for this course. However, those with doubt should look no further than the halls of WCHS. During times like the World Cup, NFL season and March Madness talk of sports betting and what to bet on fills the halls throughout the day. 

Online sports betting is an industry that has exploded in recent years. According to Bloomberg News in June 2018, sports gamblers wagered $310 million for the month. However, since then, that number has increased more than 20-fold to well over $7 billion dollars a month. Along with this according to Grand View Research, the global sports betting market accounted for $83.65 billion in USD 2022 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3% from 2023 to 2030. 

With the future growth of sports betting and its popularity with students it becomes clear that the addition of the new AP Sports Betting course is well overdue and in the future could be vital to students’ success.