The government, he said, has resolved to introduce special allowance, ' Scarce Skills Allowances' to attract youths and divert their attention from betting and other untoward activities. With time, the policy would yield dividends and salvage the youth from doldrums, he said. Read the original article on East African. AllAfrica publishes around reports a day from more than news organizations and over other institutions and individuals , representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons.
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Toggle navigation. Nigeria: Gambling Craze Invades Nigeria. The East African Nairobi. Tragic end Some hit the jackpot, most end up in tears. Sign up for free AllAfrica Newsletters Get the latest in African news delivered straight to your inbox. Top Headlines Nigeria.
Almost finished We need to confirm your email address. To complete the process, please follow the instructions in the email we just sent you. There was a problem processing your submission. Please try again later. I was interested in the potential consequences of this situation for Nigerian society and particularly for young people.
I wanted to know whether the ease of online betting for economically hard-pressed young Nigerians was creating any social problems such as conflict, crime and addictive behaviour. For my study , I collected data from in-depth interviews with fans of European football clubs, betters, parents and guardians of fans and betters, security personnel, owners and operators of betting outlets as well as football viewing centres in Lagos, Ibadan, Oyo State, south west Nigeria and Yola, Adamawa State, north east Nigeria.
In addition, I observed betting activities and collected data from recent online news reports and other published works. From the various interviews conducted and my observation, I found there was a link between football betting by young Nigerians and a perceived increase in violence and criminal activities.
But in my view the answer is not to ban such betting but to address the unemployment and poverty which propel people into it. My interviews and observations in the field show that there is a concern about teenagers stealing to fund their football betting. A parent interviewed in Adamawa State explained that:.
I noticed that money was getting lost in our house on daily basis. At first I thought it was mere misplacement. Later I started to hear from my neighbours also complaining of loss of money within their homes. We later got to know that our sons were the ones stealing the money to play football betting because we always see them with receipts of bet and we know that they do not have business from where they can get money for betting.
But the jackpot rarely comes. At football viewing centres, customers are routinely warned about fighting. One operator of a viewing centre in Yola told me:. In recent times, we have witnessed outbreaks of violence among our viewers. Some of these fights are over unresolved longstanding issues. Sometimes, it is as a result of anger sustained from major loss in football betting.
I spoke to one gambler who said:. You cannot just go and put a huge amount of money into betting without any form of spiritual enhancement that will guarantee and insure you. If you do that without spiritual enhancement, you will just continually give your money to bet companies with their managers and staff to feed fat on while you continue to stay broke.
Even bet company operators use spiritual power to ensure that their clients do not win…. There have been calls from moralists, especially in religious circles, for the government to criminalise betting, especially football betting. I witnessed two such discussions during an Islamic preaching in Yola, Adamawa State.
In fact, one state has been urged to take the first step.
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