Effects of Sports Betting on Youth in Nigeria

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Sports betting is no longer a new thing among the youths, adults or even kids in Nigeria, as with each day sees the emergence of a new brand or a new kiosk with the sticker ‘Find the best odds here’.
One of the main reasons such businesses flourish are because of the love Nigerian’s have for certain sports most especially football.

The innovation of Sport Betting firms in the Nigerian economy has known no bounds ever since the entry of the first big firms in the industry such as the first in the nation; NairaBet owned by Akin Alabi, Bet9ja owned by Kunle Soname and Ayo Ojuroye, to the much more recent discoveries including the one founded by Nigerian football legend, Jay Jay Okocha and co-founded by Adekunle Adeniji, BetKing.

Well, looking at the Nigerian website statistics, it shows conspicuously that most web users in the nation are more interested in spending minutes and hours of their lives on bet-staking sites, checking the largest odds and payouts than they are at partaking in other activities that could be beneficial to them such as reading or learning something new as the average time a user spends on the second most visited site in the nation; Bet9ja is 8 minutes with well over 9.6 million visits and 11 million page views per day.
According to a report by NairaMetrics in 2018, over 60 million Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 40 are actively involved in sports betting and almost N2 billion is spent on sports betting daily in Nigeria which approximatedly equates over N730 billion in a year.

What makes this a more prevalent issue is the rate at which Nigerian youths and tweens (children within the ages of 11-13) are embracing sports betting as a source of income and this is not just alarming but also disheartening as one can’t seem to walk a mile these days without seeing a bunch of friends with white staking papers discussing how they intend spending their possible payouts on Friday night or one of them whining about Ajax, a dog or a horse spoiled his ticket and dashed hopes of him having a nice time with his pals over at the liquor store.

This industry however continues to bloom as more active players are getting goaded into this act for various reasons one of which is the high pace of unemployment in the nation which has forced many youths to resort into finding quicker and easier means to make quick buck. 

While certain benefits are made on the Nigerian economy through taxation and other levies paid to the government as well as the generation of more job opportunities in casinos including sport analysts odds makers, bookmarkers, clerical officers in such firms etc, the detriments of sports betting and youths being involved in the game of betting in the nation are a myriad and we shall be discussing some of the major ones in today’s post as well as the reasons people actually get initiated in this gang.

Up until the day I made this research, I never understood the meaning of ‘Alabi’ in the sports world meant.

Reasons Why Youths Are Involved in Sports Betting

Peer Pressure

These days, this is the simple way youths know to make quick cash, they’d use their pocket money to take the overnight game and expect manna from heaven to fall on them from heaven.

Also, young adults who are not involved in the act these days are usually seen as primitive and out-of-style because they make betting seem like the new oil in their lives.


Most adults who involve themselves in sports betting are usually the ones unable to get employment and as a means to earn quick cash, they stake bets on their favorite football clubs, dogs, horses and so on.

The Increase in Internet Usage and Access to Mobile Phones

Due to the fact that the usage of smartphones in Nigeria has become so widespread, this has goaded a lot of individuals to get involved in betting online since no-one knows, they might as well spend N200 out of the N1,000 with them on a game.

The Ever-growing Love for Sports

Nigerians are sports people, it’s been in our culture for ages now and with the love of these sports are what goads us to do a little bit more to support out clubs and the games we love.

Greed and Laziness

Betting platforms makes promises of a life time e.g a banner of ‘Make one million with a N200 bet’

This turns people on and they get hooked on this enticing offer with hopes of never working again and living the dream.

Dangers of Getting Involved in Sports Betting


Just as the point made by a Financial Planner, Kalu Aja

Gambling is addictive.
Sports betting is gambling
Don’t get hooked.
Gambling is a tax on the poor.
Financial Planning (@FinPlanKaluAja) July 7, 2019

Sports Gambling just as every other forms gambling is highly addictive as stakers are in there for the reward spending a little of their fortune (in their own sense) in a bid to get more – just as the Money-doubling story.

Even when games are won, the urge to want more from that platform is something most people cannot resist doing and even when they do make winning on their bets, they are forced by themselves to stake one more and one more becomes two more and so does their personal cash and savings sometimes end up in the Lion’s mouth. This is the recurrent cycle of most bet-stakers all around.


Most individuals who pertake in betting are usually owing debt to someone or the other. Many people even go to the extent of using money left in their care with hopes of paying back when they eventually win a bet they made, something which in most cases doesn’t occur and leads to lack of trust in such people.

Have you never hearge of people who’d collect loans from thrift collective societies and spend all on betting with hopes of winning but then that one game just killed their joy.

Waste of Financial Resources

I heard a young guy who used his school fees to bet online and has never stopped regretting his actions after he lost. Some people sell even their properties and personal belongings to bet.

It kills Creativity

Since many youths these days are conversant of the fact that they can easily make a quick turn-around of their financial status through sport and other forms of betting, they tend to lose their creative prowesses, base their successes on such stakes and invest more and more of their time in sports betting, studying odds, and checking bookmarks etc. when they should be inventing new ways to getting things done around them and building a reliable source of income for themselves and their relatives.

Frustration Tendencies

Betting makes most addicts frustrated at themselves and life when results they wish for do not come into reality i.e that win they plan on using to tread their side-chicks, they intend to purchase a new mobile device or more. This is fairly noticeable in their conversations as many times, they get prompted to remember that they just lost #10,000 to Nairabet and that was maybe half their salary, this puts them in a depressive mood. This is someone’s response on the to discussion

‘Gambling is crap..
After I lost a year’s savings, I swear never take part in it again…
It kills, youth please desist from it…’

How do you expect such a person to feel after loosing a whole year’s saving, of course he wouldn’t just laugh it off and say it’s part of life – probably suicidal, depresses, frustrated and annoyed with both himself and no one.

It Might Lead To Poverty

Once a person gets involved in and sees the quick benefit of betting, their zealousness towards working hard and reaping the benefits will purge and this is simply because you’d think you’ve found an easier door to prosperity and a better life.

Most people in this category tend to think that one day it will surely happen and in the process of this days roll into months, then years. They neglect what really should be done and waste/invest the little they get from running minor rounds on betting with hopes of getting a big turn over, this eventually leads to poverty and a state of lack in such lives.

And if nothing is done to curtail the development


Solutions to the issue of sports betting in Nigeria Youths

Involvement of youths in Empowerment Programs

Since employment seems to be one of the prevalent causes as to why many claim they are involved in sports betting, getting involved in youth empowering programs is a way youths can learn how to manage and utilize their finances better, make better of their lives and be a blessing to their generation and the coming ones.

Laws on Protection of minors

There’s been numerous times I’ve seen minors, children who are underage at betting casinos, maybe they are on errands for their older uncles or aunts or they are there on their own accord and want a bit of the cash on those 90 or 45 minutes games, I wouldn’t know.
The gambling age is defined by the law. People below the age of 18 cannot legally gamble so why should they even be allowed in such rooms in the first place?
The legislators need to device a law that protects minors against such hostile environments.


No doubt, sports betting may seem to be able pay the bills for a time in a person’s life but it never becomes a reliable source of income or wealth.

Note: and the earlier we realize the damage betting is doing both young adults as well as adults in Nigeria, the better because it because if this continues – the betting industry only will continuously flourish but more people will continue to get poorer.

Nothing is wrong with football and other sports betting. People make bets out of greed in this part of the world which often lead them to financial incapacitation.

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