Emerging knowledge also suggests that problem gambling is rapidly evolving in to a public health concern in Africa, especially among youth. This has been attributed lack of proper gambling regulations in most African countries. The situation has got to a point that people are gambling for a living. Let’s look at the top 5 African countries struggling with gambling addictions.
There is one major reason why gambling is so popular in Nigeria; football. It has such a huge following that betting platforms took advantage of that fact and introduced new ways of making money. Indeed, the betting industry has become a big player in the country’s economy but there is a problem.
Majority of the youth spend most of their time trying to analyze games with the aim of achieving overnight success. The government seems not to be concerned with the social effects as they are certainly satisfied with the revenue being brought by gambling.
The situation is so bad in Tanzania that church leaders are pleading for the ban of gambling in the country. The clerics are concerned about the rising addiction among the youth and asked for the president’s intervention.
Mr Adamjee, deputy president of Dawoodi Bohra Community, said a majority of the youth are now taking part in sports betting instead of productive work, while traditional and social media are used to encourage gambling through advertisements.
Also Read: Top 5 Betting Sites in Africa
While Tanzanian pastors are begging the president to ban the activity, President Yoweri Museveni has ordered his government not to issue or renew licences for sports betting firms. This also affects the already registered companies as their licenses won’t be renewed once they expire. The move came about as the government’s previous attempts to curb the problem through heavy taxation bore no fruits.
Unsurprsingly, the move has been received with heavy criticism by international gambling bodies. They argue that betting revenue stimulates economic growth, lowers taxes, pays down national debt, funds social programmes and provides entertainment options. We shall see if the Ugandan government succumbs to external pressure.
2. South Africa
The situation in South Africa is different from other countries in this list. Casinos are more popular in the country; there are 38 in number. While the online betting platform is slowly gaining traction, casinos play a major role in the gambling problem faced today.
The South African Responsible Gambling Foundation was launched was formed to curb the gambling problem.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, gambling is highest among Kenyans — where betting is legal over the age of 18. The proliferation of betting firms in the African nation is giving rise to growing concerns about the addictive nature of gambling, and the lack of any apparent safeguards to prevent underage gambling.
It’s quite astonishing how betting is even popular among the older demographic; that’s how bad it is in the country. For the firms, they want more people betting; for the government, it’s a worrying trend. Authorities by their own admission recognize the need to provide a safety net for addicted gamblers falling through the cracks.
What do you think about the worrying trend? Should governments follow the footsteps of President Museveni? Let us know in the comments below.