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Monday, 16 October 2017

Youths and sports betting - The Consequences




Globally sport betting has become a big income generator for participants. Those who bet dare the odds to achieve their aim while the betting companies do as much as possible to redeem their pledges to those who won. For those who bet, they see it as an easy way to get easy or extra cash to augment their legitimate income (if any).

At no time in the history of Nigeria has her youths been engaged in this game of making fast money than now. The rate at which young Nigerians engage in betting is alarming. Some have turned betting into a full-time job and so sleep in betting houses and so bets in virtually every game with the hope of making millions overnight. G@mbling is euphemistically called betting.

Not surprising, as the numbers of those who bet swell so has the betting companies multiplied by the day. They go by different names but united by the word ‘bet’. On daily basis, sport fans throngs betting centres to check their tickets to see if they won or lost. The passion with which sport fans come to watch their teams and hope they win has given birth to something different. Watching football in viewing centres these days have become unusual. These days one hears first-half draw, straight win, over1.5, over 2.5, go go, 10 minutes draw, anybody win, etc.

Youths and sports betting - The Consequences

These ‘betters’ commit as much as they can afford into this g@mbling and hopes it pays up. As one explained to me, the more one risk that a smaller and weaker team will beat a more formidable one, the higher amount he wins. So one is often greeted with regretting remarks as ‘my ticket don tear’ ‘Barca why’ ‘E remain one game make I chop’ and so on when their hope of winning are dashed. Hardly have I seen anyone celebrating his winning but my ‘ticket don tear’ is the popular comment among ‘betters’

The sea of heads one finds in both the viewing and betting centres demonstrates the unemployment situation in Nigeria. It shows how desperate people want to make money not through paid employment which is not there, but by guessing the correct outcome of football matches and other sports. If these youths were gainfully employed, there is no way one will find them crowded in betting centres all day hoping to hit it big.

If my secondary school knowledge of Commerce serves me right, we were taught that ‘g@mbling is an insurable risk’. Many continue to wallow in the realm of day-dreaming that one day their bet winning will make them so rich to fulfill their life’s expectations.

The rate at which some Nigerian youths engage in betting is so alarming that one begins to wonder if their lives depend on its little and in-frequent earnings.

TheNation



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