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The good, the bad, the ugly of sports betting - The Nation Newspaper
5th September, 17:57Sports betting is a big business in Nigeria today. Statistics show that Nigeria is the leading country in Africa involved in sports betting.
People take to betting on various sports such as football, basketball, Table Tennis, Athletics and others, not forgetting ram-Sports where people bet to see which ram wins during fight.
Given the high rise of the internet and technology, even amongst youths, Nigeria has got various betting companies.
It all began with Nairabet, being the only domestic online sports betting website in Nigeria.
Many others like Bet9ja, Sporting Bet, Bet365, Sportybet, Betting, Merrybet, Surebet247, Betfarm, 1960bet, Betking, 9japredict and the rest of them, have since joined the business.
They all attract customers with high odds, assuring them of big wins if their predictions come true.
Statistics further tell us that over 60m Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 40 years engage in sports betting.
They spend about three thousand naira a day, betting, hoping to gain profits when they predict correctly. It is therefore not surprising to see a betting shop, in almost every street in Lagos State.
More interesting is the fact that it is possible to predict who wins the first corner kick, first goal, first throwing, first attempt at goal, first free kick, first yellow card, first red card and others, and this would translate to extra cash.
One may want to check the rightness or otherwise of engaging in sports betting but betting restricted to Nigerian citizens below 18 years old is legalised with the National Lottery Act, 2005.
Lagos State on its parts has set up a body known as Lagos State Lotteries Board (LSLB). The body is responsible for regulating lotteries, sports betting, scratch card & interactive games, casino, gaming machines operations, pools betting, promotional competitions and other gaming activities within the state.
There are different reasons people engage in sports betting. One of it can be that they want to gain rewards from the sports they are passionate about.
It is one thing to celebrate your team's victory in a match, it is another thing of joy to gain rewards because your team won.
Other people see sports betting as a source of extra income. Given the rising rate of unemployment in Nigeria, people bet in sports, hoping to win, so that they can use the money to take care of themselves and their families.
Thanks to sports betting, many are beginning to show more interest in sports. Besides the money made, it has also aroused their interest, in that they keep close tabs on games that they have staked on.
Sports betting is known as the fastest way to make money today. It is stress free, and a direct access to cash.
Greed is however associated with the act. One engaged in sports betting always wants to win and will get addicted to the act, seeing it as the only source of livelihood available.
It can also lead to violence amongst the involved. When someone lose and would not accept defeat, it could lead to a big fight that would cost lives and properties.
People use money meant to cater for other things to bet, with the aim of winning, and if they lose, they have nothing to show for it.
This is the case with a young boy who would rather use his school fees to bet or a youth who would bet with his house-rent, or all his salary, hoping to double their monies. If they lose, what happens next?