OPINION: WHY SENATE SHOULD CONSIDER SHUTTING DOWN BET9JA AND SPORTS BETTING IN NIGERIA – By Obiora Okeke
Yesterday on facebook, I shared a link from Vanguard Newspaper where the Senate threatened to Shutdown Bet9ja. I supported the idea but the comments that followed next prompted this publication.
Sports betting in Nigeria today is now a lucrative business of which a large percentage of youths engage in as every corner of a street in Nigeria has a betting center and it is always filled with youths who want to get rich quickly thinking betting is the only way to escape poverty without acquiring the skills of getting rich.
Betting has become a serious hidden addiction in which most youth cannot see in their body or smell it in their breath, this addiction lead them to feel more reluctant and lazy believing it is the easiest means of earning money without stress.
I’ll be criticized greatly if I say Betting is GAMBLING but what is is it then if not gambling? Youth Empowerment?….. Now what is gambling? “Gambling is the wagering of money or something of value; it is an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary aim of winning mostly money, and according to the English dictionary gambling is an activity characterized by balance between winning and losing that is governed by a mixture of chance.”
Just as Georges Pompidou said “three ways to get wrecked financially: technicians, gambling and ladies. The most sure way is with technicians, the fastest is by GAMBLING but the most exciting way is by ladies.”
William Bolitho also said that “A gambler is nothing but a man who makes his living out of hope.”
Is Bet9ja gambling or Youth Empowerment? You know the answer now…
Beside the Quick cash made from Bet9ja and other gambling platforms, it has gross effects of youths and it’s subscribers.
First Poverty: Youth should understand that just as a life of a gambler is inconsistent, so also will their wealth and penury be. Betting is a two way things, it can make you rich in a minute and can wreck you off your last cent in the next minutes..
Secondly, Wrong perception about Money: Many youths who engaging in sports betting like bet9ja believe they’ll hit millions one day with N100 or thereabout. They always believe they’ll “hammer” one day and they’ll become millionaires. The unanswered questions remains “how many millionaire gamblers do you know that succeeded the same way you’re threading?”
Thirdly, Suicide: Though I haven’t heard of any case of suicide, but do you know that prolonged depression can cause SUICIDE?
Fourthly, Health Issues: loosing a bet when you’re close to winning millions can give rise to a lot of health issues such as high blood pressure, regrets, depression and a many negative emotions, even insanity.
Lacy of Vision/Creativity: How will one be focused or pursue a Vision or even be creative when all he thinks is the next bet to stalk that’ll fetch him millions within 24hrs. As they continue like this, Little by little, they begin to loose their essence and vision. Come to think of it, the owners of all these sports bet sites are billionaires. It was out of there creativity and initiative that they developed a betting sites. Now, if Bill Gates was busy gambling away his life there will be no Microsoft. If Mark Zuckerberg was using his time to search for the best betting site, there wouldn’t have been Facebook. What have you achieved all these years you’ve been forecasting matches?
Waste of Money, Properties and Resources: A lot of persons have wasted lots to sports betting (gambling) as some have sold their properties or even stalk their properties, some (students) use their SCHOOL FEES in the name of its a SURE GAME…. After all the SURE GAME you’ve been forecasting, you’re still where you are.. Why not think right?
Family Crises: Due to an obsession with betting, a person is isolated from the family members which can cause a serious family crisis. It destroys one’s relationship with family, friends and colleagues.
Lastly, Laziness, Frustration and Anger: I guessed you’ve seen the look of someone who lost a million Naira because Chelsea didn’t win her match. It’s frustrating, provoking and frightening. This is what Bet9ja can cause.. A lot of youths today have been so lazy that they can’t work. All they do is sit with their mobile, forecasting matches they’ll earn them a Senator’s salary in one week.
Everyone should comprehend that the Rich and successful people around us, never got so by gambling. In achieving success, theirs no substitute for hardwork.
Everyone must arise and face reality. Betting might fetch you some money but I must be honest, it’ll only temporarily solve some little problems for you and after that, land you in financial abyss.
Youths should use their time and little resources they have for something meaningful. SPORTS BETTING (BEJ9JA) isn’t YOUTH empowerment. Arise today, pursue your vision and be creative. I bet you, the world will surely celebrate you.
Don’t forget, the world will only celebrate you for what you can offer. If you have nothing to offer, then the world has nothing to celebrate you for. Arise today and make a difference.
I therefore suggest that aside the non-remitance of bet9ja to Nigerian Government, Sports betting should be closed because it has caused more harm than good to youths.
Thanks and God bless.
Founder, The Genius and Student, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State.
15th May, 2019
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