Betting: Dangerous to Nigerian Youth

Betting: Dangerous to Nigerian Youth

By Tijani Abdulkabeer

“The truth remains that the youths of today have committed more crime than the tired legs we ambush in power today.” – Abdulkabeer Ibn Tijani

Every morning, while serious minded Nigerians resume at their various workplaces to start work which would at the culminated bring food to their table, a few spend the whole day gambling. Betting, especially sport betting has become a normal routine among the youths of today. The rate at which the nigerian youths are embracing betting is alarming and in the nearest future if preventive measures is not introduced we might end up having virtually everybody walking on the streets with white long betting papers.

It saddens the heart that the youths which are supposed to be positioning themselves to take over the economy and political leadership of the country are less concerned about the happenings around but rather are more interested in easy way of making money just to make ends meet. The old are also parties to this menace (gambling) but it is more perturbing when young minds involve in this act.

The justification for the national embrasement has always been that there is an high rate of umemployment in the country and as such they have to devise surivival means for themselves. I then ask: Why must betting be the resort and alternative to unemployment? Can it even quench the thirst in the long run? In as much as it comes with a promising and provocating return it also has its own negative impact on the person involved and with time it will have a dribble effect on the society.

According to a report from a study conducted by Dr . Darragh McGee of the University of Bath, the relentless involvement of betting companies in football has drawn an army of youths (boys and girls) into strongly associating their support for the game with betting, leading to dire consequences for many. McGee noted that the explosion in marketing and sponsorship, combined with the ease of online betting via smartphones , has resulted in the ‘gamblification ’ of watching football .

Also, Investigations by The Guardian revealed that people who indulge in betting activities borrow as much as N20, 000 for their daily stakes . Some of them win, while some lose . As a two- way thing , when the prediction comes through and the individual who wagers his money wins , the company will have to pay . However, if he loses , the bet company smiles.

Betting platforms is growing faster in nigeria today. Each and everyone of them coming with different operations style with the principal reason of enticing and indulging the youths into interest  in them. However, the recent consequence of this is that it has succedded in making sure that at least one or more betting outlet is always available on a nigerian street which to a right thinking person comes with alot of hooliganism.

On the other hand, though risky, the government have kept their fingers crossed on these menace doing little or nothing to reduce the rate at which youths invest in betting. Statistic has it that 70% of Nigerian youths are involved in betting. This shows that a greater percentage of the youths are fast becoming gamblers. On the part of the government, there have neither been law regulating the activity nor any policy against sport betting. While the plain truth remains that the lives of youths and their future is at stake. Moreso, a greater percentage of youths involved in this game are from poor homes and those under bad social influences. 

Conclusively, The government must as a matter of urgency come up with policy that would change this narrative because if they fail to act all of these would end up consuming us as a country. With the rate the game is growing unabated, we need the candid intervention of the government so that they can rescue the lives of those youths that is at stake. A gambler makes a living built on hope.

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