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Sports Betting: Addiction, Hobby Or Profession: Take Your Pick

HARARE – American sports punters spend an estimated $380 billion per year, mostly on soccer and Super Bowl. If you think that is excessiv...

HARARE – American sports punters spend an estimated $380 billion per year, mostly on soccer and Super Bowl.

If you think that is excessive, then go to Nigeria.

An estimated $9 million is gobbled by the game – almost half of what they spend on petrol. Uganda takes the price for the most outlets – 2 000 in total.

Gambling For Living A snap survey by this author on selected outlets reveals that sports betting have become a source of income rather than a hobby. Most of them were once bars and has since grown from about seven to 30 in the last count in Harare.

Back then, horse punters mainly a pastime for the aged has been replaced by football, dogs, tennis and basketball in order to make a living. And the outlets are sprouting on every convenient corner.

Online gambling has taken prominence powered by MasterCard, PayPal, visa, EasyPay, Skrill and ukash.

In Zimbabwe, the state halted awarding betting licenses in an effort to limit a surge in gambling on sports and lotteries. “We need to control betting, because we can’t be betting everywhere,” a Home Affairs official mentioned.

However, high unemployment rate has motivated some into gambling for survival betting shop managers and gamblers observed.

Family Survival Cuthbert Rwafa, a breadwinner recently lost his job.

Today, he spends most of his time trying his luck inside betting outlets of Harare. “I come here often to bet. Sometimes I win and this has become my source of income.” His recent win was $300, after putting one wager.

In Nigeria, about 60 million Nigerians between 18 and 40 years of age spend up to $9 million on sports betting daily. That’s nearly half of what Nigerians spend on petrol every day – estimated at $20 million.

On average, each gambler in Nigeria commit on average $15 in bets each day – while betting companies generate around $100,000 monthly while they utilise $25,000 - 35,000 as payout.

Uganda is the home of gambling. In 2012, gambling was named a “new driver of chronic poverty.” Over 2,000 active operators exist in various gambling modes and techniques accruing over $3.6million for the state as sin tax.

Gambling Promotes Laziness
In less than two years, Gaming International set up over 200 points in Uganda in just two years since 2009, research has proven. Investors and gamblers think that they can predict the future.

The stock market is a more serious profession – contrary sports betting are considered to be more leisurely. Sports betting, which resolves around predicting game results and placing wagers on outcomes – which is a form of gambling, uses different types of bets depending on the sport.

The common types of bets include straight bets, proposition bets, parlays, progressive parlays, teasers, if bets, future wagers, head to head, totals, and many more.

Social commentators believe gambling does not replace employment. “It is not sustainable because it creates a get-rich-quick culture and laziness.”

But Cuthbert Rwafa differs. “A man has to feed his family.” – The Aloe News

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