Stakeholders task regulators on ways to curb gambling

Towards sensitisation of online security among secondary school students below the age of 18, Virtually Safe, in partnership with Teens Can Code, Crucial Compliance, and Adam Bradford Agency, has planned strategies to curb harms of gambling.

The stakeholders gave the strategies at an advocacy workshop on cyber security and prevention of gambling harms among Nigerian youths, yesterday, in Lagos.

The workshop was targeted at safer gambling, understanding vulnerability, and regulations of gambling in Nigeria by supporting professionals, parents and young people to prevent harm.

Team Lead, Virtually Safe, Isaac Damian, said that from the survey conducted by the firm, it was revealed that youths below the age of 18 engaged in online betting as a result of their accessibility to smartphones.

“From the survey conducted, we want to create a solution that can help young people and restrict them so that they don’t get addicted to gambling, and also reduce the time spent on gambling. Betting isn’t a crime, there is a legal age for betting in Nigeria which is 18 years. So, we are looking forward to partnering with lawmakers and regulators, sharing ideas with them for implementation, and looking forward to how they can regulate the gambling industry,” – he added.

Founder, Crucial Compliance, Paul Foster, said technology has an important role to play in upholding safer gambling, in terms of identifying the signs of gambling harm, which can bring a lot of benefits to betting operators.

According to Marketing Manager, Betway, Dotun Adepegba say:

 “about 85 million Nigerians, between the age of 18 and 40, bet on various platforms. The Nigerian Gaming Industry is estimated to worth close to N1 trillion.”

Adepegba noted that Betway has a verification process to confirm the rightful age of a customer.

Also, Clinical Psychologist, Miracle Ihuoma, said it is a fictitious idea to say gambling brings wealth, noting that there is a link between gambling addiction and mental health.

 “If you can control your thoughts, your emotions can be controlled because actions are powered by interpretations of loss. So, when I get a depressed patient who as a result of the loss wants to commit suicide, I change the interpretation of the loss to them, hence if you want to change your emotions, control your thoughts and belief.” – he said.

Chief Executive Officer, GambleAlert, Fisayo Oke, said there is an intersection between responsible gaming and gambling, noting that there is a need for responsible marketing and adverts by gambling platforms.

The stakeholders, therefore, charged regulators to do more in the gambling community in Nigeria to avoid addiction, noting that the gambling business is to make money and guard people’s lives against losing their investments to it.


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