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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Nigerian Youths and Gambling

Written by: Muoka Chibuzor || Contributor - Okezie Andrew


Gambling is not necessarily evil, but there is more to it than meets the eye.

Gambling is an activity characterised by a balance between winning and losing, and it’s governed by a mixture of skill and chance, usually with money wagered on the outcome.
The youths will always remain the leaders of tomorrow and their involvement in gambling is not a welcomed development. Readers are Leaders, and Gamblers are what? A question you should answer for yourself.

However good some people might want to paint the issue of gambling especially in a developing country like Nigeria. The disadvantages probably outweigh the advantages when examined critically. Today in Nigeria, many youths have resorted to full-time gambling, courtesy of the Nigerian government approval.

We are looking at Sports betting which is the most alarming form of gambling in Nigeria. We have many of them – Bet9ja360bet1960bet, SurebetNairabetMerrybet etc. Even as you read this article, other sports betting companies are springing up.  Our youths today call it YOUTH EMPOWERMENT!

Why should the Nigerian government allow the prolific breeding of these companies and ignore the industrialisation of the country to provide more job opportunities that the youths will engage in? At least they become more useful to the labour force of the nation and to themselves and help in curbing the crashing economy.

Well, the Nigerian government is the genesis of up rise in gambling for the youths. Our youths today after tertiary education resort to sleeping in sports betting shops, all in the name of making money through probability.

Very early in the morning, when you peep out of your window you will see young boys and girls rushing with optimism into a particular shop down the street. Hopefully, you might think that the place is a Supermarket, but if you can go there and look inside, you will see them pointing at the wall and reading various white sheets of papers that appear to look like a Newspaper. A closer look will prove otherwise.

Others are seated watching the television as if something happened! Then within few minutes, you will see them forming a long queue, like people trying to vote for an election. Later you see them leaving the shop with a slim white paper as if they went for a lab test. Others who are well-to-do simply stay back in their closet and patronise the Gamblers from morning till night.

And as they leave the shop, they keep calling GOD, and I wonder why to call God into such issues. As Christians, is our God, the God of Gamblers? A question you should answer for yourself.

Later in the day, you see some Jubilating, raising their betting slip up for everyone to see that they have won and others downcasted, tearing their betting slip with vexation as if they were forced to patronise the Gamblers.

And now, is this the kind of life we are destined to keep living? With all the God-given potentials/talents, we were endowed with.

Is this how we the Youths will take the bull by the horn as our current leaders step down after their regime? Every right thinking Youth would know that this is not a way to live a life and fulfil one's destiny. Life is full of choices and what we do or indulge in can either make or mar us.

People who support the view that it’s good, have stated the following 
Benefits of Gambling – sports betting as people claim
1.  Gambling – sports betting has helped to reduce the crime rate in Nigeria by providing society deviants with quick money.

2.  Gambling – sports betting has provided Job opportunities for some youths, as they become agents for the sports betting companies – thereby keeping idle hands busy.

3.  Gambling – sports betting can be seen as a form of Entertainment.

4. Gambling – sports betting companies generate revenues for the government especially when they pay their tax.

5.  Gambling – sports betting serves as a reward for what people have the passion for. One of the prominent sports betting company in Nigeria – Bet9ja has their motto as “rewarding your passion for sports.”

People who support the view that it’s bad, have stated the following
Dangers of Gambling – sports betting as people claim
1.  Gambling – sports betting causes brain drain in the society, because the youths no longer think of anything else if not whether Arsenal will win Chelsea, thereby neglecting their Education/self-development and whiling away time that could have been for used for inventions. All in the name of making quick money.

2.  Gambling – sports betting has deprived many youths of the little they have and when one keep losing without any source of income, the next minute they might get frustrated and resort to Crime.

3.  Gambling – sports betting has a Psychological effect on whoever indulges in it. It’s one of the surest ways of developing high blood pressure, of which is no befit to a promising youth. And when you win and win, your life might get ruined because you virtually become addicted to it and believe that gambling is the only way for survival and to outsmart your mates. Even when one sees Job opportunities, they still prefer gambling.

4.  Gambling – sports betting can expose people to unexpected harm and harassment. There have been situations where the Nigerian Army or Police barge into betting shops to arrest some miscreants suspected to have committed heinous crimes and most times the few innocent people seen associating with them or even seated with them at the betting shop do not go scot-free.

5.  Gambling – sports betting cause society stigma, people who gamble are always seen as ne’er-do-wells, rogues, Vagabonds or black sheep of the family, in a proper African society setting. Although it cannot be generalised, some atoms of truth can still be traced to that belief. Because mostly miscreants prefer gambling as a source of income.

Conclusion
Although the Bible does not specifically condemn gambling, betting or lottery. The bible, however, warns us, however, to stay away from the love of money and quick attempts to get rich.
Proverbs 13:11 says, “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow”
The Nigerian government should curb this rising menace that might cause harm than good to our youths. The Leaders of Tomorrow.

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