There is a wave in Nigeria which has been on for a while now and it is the gambling culture. No thanks to the internet.
Gambling has been going on in Nigeria for a long time, but in this generation of the internet, with just a smartphone and access to the internet, you can easily place a bet online. Which means the millennials in Nigeria are a huge percentage of gamblers right now.
There are so many forms of gambling but the most common right now in Nigeria is the online sports betting especially football betting.
Betting on football games is big business in Nigeria. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), N1.8b is spent on sports betting daily in Nigeria.
There is a large followership of football in Nigeria, so why just watch it for the fun of it when you can cash out from it … right?
You’ll be surprised that it is not only the male folks who gamble. A lot of ladies also indulge in it.
Some guys don’t limit themselves to only to the popular football leagues, some go as far placing bets on unknown leagues.
While some stay in the comfort of their house to watch football matches of their favourite teams, some don’t mind going through the stress of watching it at a football viewing centre, struggling for a place to seat.
People stake as low as a 100 naira while some stake as high as a million naira or more, depending on how rich you are.
Now the question is why is gambling in form of football betting on the rise in Nigeria and why are the millennials really indulging in it?
A lot of Nigerians would tell you that they partake in it because they have to survive while some others want to make extra cash and quick money by the side.
The high unemployment and poverty rate in the country is the major cause for the high rise in gambling. People need to find a way to make money and survive.
An example is Segun Akinrodoye a.k.a Cheche, 25, who has been betting from his pre-degree days at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) in 2009
He says he was very close to making over N100m from betting in April 2017. It was a single game that brought all the cards down.
“My God, I cried, honestly,” he tells Pulse. “A friend told me to change the Leicester option to handicap win but I didn’t. I wanted to but I don’t know how I overlooked it” says Akinrodoye on his slip up.
The least Akinrodoye spends every week is 1,000 naira on multiple games. The highest amount Akinrodoye has made from placing bets on football games is N127,000. This was in 2014.
His reason for betting was to settle some issues at home. “Well, then things were a little bit hard for my parents and myself too. Pops was seriously sick and I was already owing school fees for my fourth year before going for I.T” he says.
Though he didn’t win the huge sum of money, he hasn’t stopped placing bets. “I picked myself up again,” he says about his loss. “I might be close now so I’m not giving up yet” he states.
But is gambling the best option out? I don’t think so because you keep putting the little you have by predicting a game and hoping to win. In the long run, when you calculate all that you have invested in betting and check your returns, you find out you have invested more than you have won. So to what end?