Gambling encouraging ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’

The National Coordinator of POCACOV, CSP Ebere Amaraizu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Wednesday that gambling remained a pull factor pushing young minds into social vices among others.

Amaraizu said this while speaking on the recent dangers of gambling addiction as well as the challenges and ways out for young Nigerians. According to him, youth gambling addiction is an ill wind that blows no good to anyone.

“Hence, the advocacy for a holistic societal approach where all hands will be on deck by all relevant stakeholders to checkmate the emerging trend with a view to revising it,” – he said.

Ebere Amaraizu

He noted that one of the main draws of gambling was the promise and expectation of great reward and this had left gambling-addicted young persons’ to try at all costs to have money at all times for betting or gambling.

The national coordinator further maintained that young minds often struggle to properly deal with losses and tend to overcompensate by throwing even bigger money on this game of chance.

“Gambling encourages reckless and irresponsible behaviour and inhibits the ability to properly assess risks and consequences. It is obviously a pull factor to vices, depression, suicide and some cases of mental disorder among others. Survey conducted revealed that gambling-addicted youths are prone to missing school, having low grades in schools, and school dropouts. It destroys academic life and career successes.”

– said Amaaizu.

Amaaizu noted that youths addicted to gambling are more prone to substance and drug abuse which increases the pathways and engagement in criminal activities.

“Such criminal activities included sexual and gender-based violence, advance fee fraud also known as Yahoo Yahoo, and ritual killing (Yahoo Plus) all of which are Serious and Organised Crime (SOC). Gambling is all about risk-taking and so, this increases the chances of young minds getting into the pathways of risk-taking which eventually exposes them to psychological and behavioral issues,” – he said.

Amaraizu, however, recommended that curbing gambling addiction would require the participation of all relevant stakeholders through holistic societal approaches. He said that another action necessary to curb the menace is mentoring and reorientation.

“There is also a need to create a better and safer environment for children to grow and thrive through adult guidance and parent support programmes which will concentrate on the negative consequences of gambling/betting. “Various regulatory and re-orientation agencies should rise up to the challenges for a safe, peaceful, and secured society and a better nation,” – he added.


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