KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — A health official in Uganda was so confident that Argentina would defeat Saudi Arabia in the World Cup soccer match that he bet $1,800 that had been given to him by authorities as reimbursements for 243 people who had participated in a polio immunization campaign. sports betting in Africa
Argentina lost, putting the official in danger.
Gamblers and experts in at least five African nations stated that the expanding sports betting industry is seen by many as a potential means of escape from poverty. Sports betting is criticized for being supported by widespread poverty, unemployment, and inadequate or nonexistent regulation in Africa.
He first stated that he had taken out a loan, but the money had been stolen.
But I kept asking him to explain the specifics because I was aware that he was lying. “Doctor, I have to tell you the truth,” he cried out. Mark Bramall, the district’s top health officer, said, “I bet the money on Argentina.” Landmass-wide information on sports wagering isn’t promptly accessible, however, previews from various nations show its developing notoriety.
The majority of betting is placed on European soccer matches.
Sports betting increased by 14% annually between 2008 and 2016, according to the most recent gambling survey conducted by the South African government. However, the percentage of adults in South Africa who gambled decreased from 57% to a third. According to the National Gambling Board, online sports betting now accounts for 45% of the South African gambling market, which is “a starkly different picture from just 10 years ago when casinos held 80% of market share.”
The South African Responsible Gambling Foundation’s executive director, Sibongile Simelane-Quntana, stated that her organization has experienced “significant growth” in online sports betting since lockdowns related to the pandemic. She stated that gambling houses provide her group with funding, which “has increased by 50% from where it was before the lockdown.”
Manager David Mugisa stated that participants in a World Cup promotion will be eligible to receive a portion of online “betting points” if they wager at least $0.8 per day until the day of the final.
“With every day the deals are going up,”, particularly during the World Cup, powered by request from understudies, relaxed workers, and others of the metropolitan poor, he said.
He stated, “That game caused chaos.” According to Japhet Moyo, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, sports betting “has become a major income earner even for those in formal employment” in Zimbabwe, where the majority of formal employees earn less than $100 per month. The issue is that it becomes addictive, and some gamblers lose their wages.
The shocking World Cup results have hurt there as well as elsewhere in Africa. After England’s win over Senegal on December 4 to secure a spot in the finals, many customers in one betting house in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, trashed their tickets and left in an apparent rage.
Gamblers in Africa frequently rely on winnings to meet their daily expenses.
Philo Ragada, a schoolteacher without a job in Harare, was nervous as Senegal and England played for a place in the quarterfinals. Despite his support for the African team, the Zimbabwean stated that he desired England to win because “that’s where my money is.” He stated that his winnings would be “enough for bread and tomatoes tomorrow.”
Wale Babalola, a college graduate in the Nigerian city of Lagos who owns eight betting shops after once struggling to find work, stated, “In Nigeria of today you just have to find a means of surviving.” I wonder how some people will survive in this country without betting.
Moses Ssali, a normal player in Kampala, said World Cup misfortunes haven’t imprinted his confidence in wagering as one method for supporting himself. He is building a modest house with three bedrooms that he claims he has built “small, small” from winnings over the years, once depositing cement and sand. He is now looking for a significant win outside of the World Cup that will pay for roofing sheets.
In addition, concerns about the industry are growing.
Reagan Wamajji, a researcher and analyst with the Center for Policy Analysis in Uganda, stated that the expansion of sports betting in Africa “threatens to push young men and women into its fatal depths.” He stated, “There must be deliberate campaigns against gambling, especially sports betting, similar to what is happening in the tobacco industry.” However, since it is such a lucrative industry, it may be challenging to push for significant reforms.
Akin Alabi, a lawmaker from Nigeria who founded the well-known betting platform Nairabet and chairs a committee that oversees betting, stated that an issue is a small group of exploitative “charlatans.” sports betting in Africa
Early this year, a Ugandan parliamentary committee suggested banning betting during the day.
Since 2019, when the country imposed taxes on all bets, win or lose, and revoked the licenses of several major gambling companies after accusing the country’s largest sports betting platform of tax evasion, neighboring Kenya has reported a decline in gambling. According to the results of a survey conducted by the government, respondents’ views of gambling as a viable source of income decreased by half between 2019 and 2021, from 22.7% to 11.2%.
This World Cup has been punishing for regular gamblers, especially those who stake money that isn’t their own. Gideon Matua, a night watchman in Kampala who regularly bets, said that two friends lost their jobs after losing money from other people. He stated that both men have since lost their guard jobs.
He stated, “I’ve seen very many people here crying.” Someone brings a significant sum to one team and arrives here. They just go home if the team loses.
In Kampala, Ssali sounded composed.
When asked about wagers on World Cup matches, he stated, “They beat me, and I am feeling cold.” In any case, that’s what I know whether you don’t place in, you can’t get out anything. Even if you fall in love with a woman, you have to spend money on her, but she can still disappoint you, right? It is possible to open a business and fail.