Tuesday, November 29th, 2022

Sports betting in Nigeria: the 100% new addiction.

Sports betting in Nigeria: the 100% new addiction.

Though gambling is not new in Nigeria, the advent of the internet has revolutionized the demographics and landscape. Sports betting has become easier, faster, and more accessible. While the elderly favoured the betting pools in the past, online betting has become the pastime of many youths in the country.  Sports betting menace in Nigeria It

Though gambling is not new in Nigeria, the advent of the internet has revolutionized the demographics and landscape. Sports betting has become easier, faster, and more accessible. While the elderly favoured the betting pools in the past, online betting has become the pastime of many youths in the country. 

Sports betting menace in Nigeria

It is estimated that four out of ten Nigerians actively engage in sports betting. Nigeria currently has a population of over 200 million, with about half of these being young people. In essence, the demographic outlook of sports betting has changed with the coming of numerous betting sites like Naira bet, Betnaija, 360bet, 22bet, 1XBet, Bigibet, Sports bet Nigeria, Betking, and Betway amongst others. Millions of bettors daily visit these sites, hoping for a lucky outcome of their bets.

Men and women from various walks of life have become victims of this addiction. These habitual bettors collectively spend about $5.5million on betting every day, amounting to a whopping $2billion yearly. But what is fueling this new addiction? The biggest attraction to sports betting is the promise of quick gains. Those that indulge in it, see it as an avenue to make a living and a seemingly easy route to wealth

The unprecedented surge in online sports betting in the past decade is due to affordable and widespread internet access, population growth, the proliferation of devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Other factors responsible for this upsurge include a high rate of unemployment in the country, the increasing sports culture among the populace, the potential for addiction, and relaxed laws on sports betting.

Also, we have witnessed an influx of a number of betting sites in recent times. These bookies also entice new through offering bonuses. There are joining bonuses given to new customers, sometimes up to 100 percent of your first deposit sum. The launch of mobile banking options across multiple networks is another reason why betting has become more attractive to bettors.

The contributions of sports betting to the Nigerian economy cannot be underestimated. Its overall economic impacts are not only on the increase but trickle down to different segments of the national economy. The government generates revenue from the licensing fees and taxes collected from the growing number of betting companies. It is reported that about $58 million in gross revenue was generated in 2019 through sports betting in Nigeria.

Secondly, betting companies create jobs by allowing people to become agents and own physical outlets. The shop owners also have their own employees. Betting companies also create jobs in the I.T sector by hiring local talents with programming, hardware, design, and computer networking skills.

Digital marketers are also employed to influence people to register on betting sites through social media campaigns. Even non-tech people are needed for 24/7 customer support. Another gain of sports betting is in the area of partnerships and sponsorships in the sports and entertainment industries in the sports and entertainment industries. Bet9ja is one of the sponsors of the popular reality TV show, Big Brother Naija.

With its numerous benefits, sports betting comes with some negative effects. Many people are been pushed into psychological depression and poverty through addiction to gambling. Chronic bettors are almost perpetually broke. Some sell their possessions and even steal to fund their betting lifestyle.

Other adverse impacts of sports betting include strained relationships between bettors and their family and friends, an increase in cases of mental health problems and substance abuse, promotion of the vices of greed, laziness, and idleness.

While sports betting remains beneficial to the economy, the government should tighten the regulation of the gaming industry by introducing stricter laws to check indiscriminate betting in the country, particularly among the youths. Rather than focusing their sponsorships and partnership deals in the sports and entertainment sector, betting companies should extend their corporate social responsibility and kind gestures to education, health, and social infrastructure.

Mary Donga
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