& Pelumi Oyediran
Many Nigerians have taken up sports betting in order to make ends meet as economic hardship and unemployment bite harder in the country.
Some bettors and bet shop owners, who spoke with Sporting Hope last weekend, said it was a legal means for them to make money, saying they could not engage in fraud or robbery.
While speaking, Mr Odeyemi Pelumi “noted that sports betting provided him opportunity to earn extra cash to feed for himself and his family as Nigeria’s economy was not encouraging.”
He said, “Betting for me breeds a posterity of possible good fortune and as a matter of fact it reduces unemployment in the country and as well curb criminal activities.
“Being a punter, be it football, table tennis, cricket and so on, you can walk on the street freely without any fear of police harassment for a criminal activity”.
“This gives the people another means of making money in a legitimate means rather than living by duping people of their hard earn money.”
Another punter, Mr Adeolu Samuel expressed joy that sports betting had enhanced his financial capability.
He said “betting is a means I used in enhancing my financial status and this particularly has helped many people to be financially independent and living a luxurious life, in such a way that if you have N100 for example, you can stake a game and you win double percent of the money you stake with.”
He however added that, “the potential of winning a ticket comes at a risk of losing the money you stake with, which serves as loss in betting.”
According to Mr Asemoloye Samuel, he had made lots of money from the game of luck.
He said “bets are among the Privileges a man can enjoy to make his ends meet and this has helped me a lot, fortunately enough, that I can account for winning over fifty percent of my games.”
On a contrary note, Mr Elisha Lawrence, Who is a bettor also made his grievances known on the unreliability of betting which means you can lose N10,000 before winning N1000 and further said the negative effect of betting is more than the positive.
Additionally, a bet shop owner, Mr Paul Gideon said owing a sport betting shop has served as a legal means of making ends meet and many others.
“Opening a betting shop is a profitable business you can indulge in and generate your daily income due to high rate of people playing bet and this helps in generating a huge income, and particularly for me, betting have been able to take care of my family and myself, apparently, I have been able to generate income from both the winning and losing games from the punters.
Another shop owner, Mr Seun Ayilara said that the business had been his only source of livelihood and a way to create employment and generate income.
While speaking on the negative side of the venture, a punter revealed that one may not win for a long time but the money lost during the time may be recovered with a single win.