Sports Betting in Ghana and the world in general is on the rise. The business has provided jobs and revenue and thus plays a significant role in the socio-economic growth in any country.
SPORTS BETTING IN GHANA
Betting companies have invaded every corner of the streets, there are 20 betting companies currently operating in Ghana. Some have forged partnerships with some football clubs in the country like Liberty Professionals, AshGold, Aduana Stars etc.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong for a well to do company to partner local clubs to enhance their financial positions. It is something (sponsorship money) these clubs need to run their day to day affairs. The question here is, is there not a possibility for these sponsors to influence the clubs to play to the gallery?
During the recently ended NC Special competition, Berekum Chelsea CEO, Nana Kwame Nketia slapped goalkeeper Gideon Ahenkorah for conceding suspicious goals during the club’s 3-1 defeat to Bechem United.
He accused some of his players of involving in betting and Ahenkorah was the leader of the group. This clearly shows that betting is already comprising our beautiful game.
The concerns of people who frown on sports betting have a strong religious and moral upbringing but most importantly, the effect it has on Ghana’s youth and teenagers.
The Gaming Act, 2006, Act 721 (48) prohibits children from gambling or betting. “A person responsible for a gaming machine shall not permit a child to use the gambling machine or to enter a place where the gambling machine is operated”.
There are instances I have seen school kids in school uniforms and are clearly below 18 entering these bet centers and staking bets and they are not turned away.
If the Gaming Commission doesn’t enforce these rules and regulations strictly, by revoking licences of these betting companies and fining them, we are going to loss our future leaders to gambling. The reputation of our beautiful games has been ruined, we do not want to ruin the lives of these teenagers.
As a recovering betting/gambling addict, I have seen at first hand what betting can do to your finances especially when you’re unemployed. My first ever bet was on 17 matches and with two Ghana cedis, I won my first bet and I used the proceeds to acquire the new iPhone 5s (The latest iPhone by then).
Whoa! Two Ghana cedis can make me this much, why don’t I try a hundred Ghana cedis? That is when your finances go into RED.
A good friend of mine said “El, I won mad. You for write about betting. Tell squad never to use budgeted money for bet. That be when you go mad nu. But use loose money only”.
I’ve heard stories where kids steal money from their parents just to stake bets on football matches and lose the money in the long run. If at a tender age of 16, 17, they have started taking from their parents without permission, imagine what they will do when they’re jobless at age 23.
People with a different school of thought will say betting helped them through difficult financial situations. Yes that is how its is programmed, you’ll win some and lose some. But your losses will be more than your winnings.
I don’t know of anybody who has been betting for a minimum two years and has never won before; “unless your family members dey do you”.
All concerned citizens are asking for is proper regulation and enforcement of the laws to protect these teenagers from the negative effects of betting. Then again with technology improving everyday and the rise of smart phones, how will these betting companies know I’m not below the age of eighteen and cannot be registered on their platform?
Stay guided and bet wisely.