EXPERTS HOT NEWS Looking into the dark side of gambling in Africa 4 years ago Peter Situma Post Views: 1,445 Africa is indeed a continent that has experienced a constant rise in the gambling and entertainment industry. Normally, gambling is a form of entertainment, although, in some of the Africans countries where the standards of living are relatively low, gambling has been practised as a source of income. Now, this is where all hell breaks loose! Africa has been a business attraction for both local and international sports betting companies. The form of gambling that grows with every day across Africa has been and still is sports betting. Millions of Africans are actively involved in sports betting according to a recent study. Most of these gamers are unaware of the danger that lies beneath the enticing bonuses and rewards offered by the various sports betting sites. Universally, the legal age for gambling is 18, and so it is in African countries. Most gamers fall under the age bracket of 18 and 40 years of age. This is the most productive age group in any economy. For instance, in Nigeria, one of the countries in Africa with a massive gambling community, close to 60 million people actively involved in sports betting are aged between 18yrs and 40 years. A similar situation is replicated in central Africa as well as South Africa. This has been a cause of concern. The following are some of the occasions that make gambling, particularly, sports betting a vice rather than a source of entertainment: There have been cases of students from tertiary education institutions committing suicide after gambling with their tuition fees. A student from Kabianga University in Kenya committed suicide after losing his tuition fees on placing his bets. He probably hoped to earn more money after the match he literally ignored the risks. Families have been broken all thanks to betting. Breadwinners have resorted to gambling with the little income they have. For them, they keep hoping to grow their cash by the size of the odds available in that particular match. What happens when they lose? The gamer who had hoped to put a meal or pay rent using the ‘income’ from gambling gets frustrated when they fail to do so. This ends up as a conflict in most families. Even worse, people are getting asset loans and using the money to gamble. This is, without a doubt, the cause of rising cases of depression and suicides in African countries. Failure to repay the loans lead to the financial institutions possessing these assets. Critics and leaders in most of these countries have shown concerns over the ugly gambling aftermath. Gambling has been suspected of aiding money laundering of drug peddling acquired money. For these reasons, governments across the board have seen the need to salvage their communities from this addictive obsession. Salvaging Africa from the Gambling Crisis Africa’s socio-economic status causes most unemployed and desperate youths to engage in obsessive gambling. To curb this crisis, individual governments have started implementing restrictive measures to the gaming and gambling industry. For instance, in Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta introduced a tax of 35% from gambling winnings besides the 30% tax imposed on the gambling companies. Advertisements prior to matches have been cancelled alongside any other form of endorsement of sports betting on television. Some countries like Uganda, Kenya and Ghana have decided to halt the renewal of licenses after the expiration of the currently operational licenses. In other countries such as Burundi, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Libya, Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania, gambling is completely illegal and any attempts to engage in the business is punishable by law. Kenya seems to be more concerned and determined to protect its gaming community. Recently, Kenya expelled from the country 17 directors of different Foreign Gambling Agencies on the grounds of internal laws violation. About Post Author Peter Situma Peter Situma is a lover of football and a staunch supporter of Chelsea Football Club. He has been working as a sports betting and casino gambling writer for over 5 years. He is also interested in technology and playing FIFA See author's posts Peter SitumaPeter Situma is a lover of football and a staunch supporter of Chelsea Football Club. He has been working as a sports betting and casino gambling writer for over 5 years. 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