Online betting is making many Nigerian youths go broke

Gambling is common in Nigeria. It is wagering of something valuable on a random event with the intent of winning something else valuable, with instances of the strategy being ignored. It necessitates the presence of three elements: consideration, risk, and a prize.

The most common form of gambling is football betting. On every street in Lagos, you will certainly find one or two football betting shops. This is where most of the unemployed youths spend their time.

However, betting has been largely influenced by the availability of the Internet. You no longer need to go to shops to bet. One out of 5 Nigerian youths has betting apps installed. You can do it anywhere as long as you have a smartphone that is connected. Just as people are getting addicted to their smartphones, they also get addicted to betting. is the most prominent football betting site in Nigeria and it is among one the top 10 most visited websites in 2023. There are other betting websites like, and listed among the top 20 websites.

Now, you begin to wonder why these betting platforms have millions of users. One of the factors contributing to the popularity of football betting amongst the youth is the overzealous ambition to get out of poverty and improve their financial situation. This trend is being fuelled by not just the average unemployed youth, but the employed as well. People looking for a way to make money quickly.

In reality, many Nigerians venture into football betting with expectations. Even with their recurrent losses, they still believe that some strings can be pulled out that will land them in financial prosperity. This illusion keeps illuminating until they go bankrupt. It’s an addictive exercise. Yes, there are a few Nigerians that have been lucky enough to win big, but the chances are usually slim.

A 25-year-old Oluseyin Ogundipe told how he crumbled his business worth N1m due to excessive gambling.

“It’s not just about Bet9ja, it also includes lotto (Baba Ijebu), but most of my losses came from football betting.”

He explained that it was easy to transfer money to a betting account from a bank app. Many online betting companies have affiliations with banks. The partnership makes it easy for anybody who has a betting account to fund it directly from their bank accounts.

“Those days, you have to go to bet9ja shops and stake, although some people still do it today. But it’s easier now. You have an option to just be inside your house and start staking games. The reality is – the more you have an access to it on your phone, the easier you get thrilled to stake a bet. And that is just a recipe for a financial disaster.”

According to experts, the majority of casual gamblers stop when they lose or set a limit on how much they are willing to lose. People who have a compulsive gambling problem, on the other hand, are compelled to keep playing in order to recover their money, a pattern that becomes increasingly destructive over time. To obtain gambling funds, some people may resort to theft or fraud.

Some people who have a compulsive gambling problem may go through periods of remission, where they gamble less or not at all. However, without treatment, remission is usually not permanent.

“I have been trying to stop betting but it has become so difficult, even when I get the betting apps uninstalled from my phone,”

– Uche Johnson, a bike man who lost almost N600k last month said.

Johnson said he has uninstalled his Sportybet app from his smartphone more than three times after losing cumulatively N600k.

“It has been tough for me financially. It is not something I would want to recommend to anybody. I think it is good for those with stable financial muscle.”

Emphatically, Gambling addiction is an extremely serious problem that can harm both individuals and their families. It, like any other addiction, can lead to financial difficulties, relationship issues, and mental health issues. Individuals who believe they have developed a gambling addiction must gamble responsibly and seek help.

In conclusion, there is no proven way to prevent a gambling problem, and educational programs that target at-risk individuals and groups may be beneficial.

If you have risk factors for compulsive gambling, you should avoid gambling in any form, as well as gambling-related people and places. Get treatment as soon as you notice a problem to help prevent it from worsening.

The Nigerian government must start pulling people out of poverty through different initiatives, including stimulating the economy. Promoting financial literacy and campaigning against excessive gambling is important.


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