Greed, quest for quick money drives Nigeria’s gambling trend-NOIPolls

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WED, AUGUST 16 2017-The latest NOIPolls on Nigeria betting trend reveals that quest for quick money, greed, unemployment, economic hardship and poverty tops the list of reasons why Nigerians have taken to gambling in droves.

Analysis of results among those surveyed revealed ‘quest for quick money’ at 30 percent leads the list while ‘unemployment’ (21 percent) and ‘greed’ (15 percent) followed in reasons why Nigerians engage in betting.

Other reasons include; ‘to cushion the effect of economic hardship’ (12 percent), ‘poverty’ (10 percent), ‘just for fun’ (5 percent), ‘passion for sports’ (5 percent) and ‘peer group influence’ (2 Percent).

The New public opinion poll also revealed that gambling and betting are becoming very popular in Nigeria, particularly amongst the country’s bulging youth population and sports fans. Interestingly, a significant proportion of Nigerians polled (77 percent) attested to the high prevalence of betting and gambling in their locality; particularly amongst respondents in the South-West (92 percent) and South-South (91 percent) geo-political zones which recorded the highest prevalence.

Also, the top four betting platforms identified by Nigerians are: Bet9ja (64 percent), Nairabet (34 percent), Pool (22 percent) and Lotto (20 percent). Similarly, betting has become a growing trend amongst young Nigerians aged between 18 – 35 years, who accounted for the highest proportion of Nigerians who engage in the practice. According to a report by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), about 60 million Nigerians between the ages 18 and 40 years spend up to N1.8 billion Naira on sports betting daily with an average investment of N3,000 Naira per day.

Furthermore, in terms of active participation, 36 percent of those polled admitted that they personally engage or have family members who engage in betting; with more than half of this group of respondents (53 percent) engaged in daily betting. On the other hand, 60 percent of this same group reported that they win a bet ‘few times a month’, while 8 percent revealed that they have ‘never won a bet’. In addition, the poll highlighted that people prefer betting platforms that: offer timely redemption of winnings, favourable odds on games, reputation for prompt payment, and are easy to use. Finally, respondents identified reasons why Nigerians engage in betting and gambling to include: ‘quest for quick money’ (30 percent), ‘high rate of unemployment’ (21 percent) and ‘greed’ (15 percent) amongst other reasons.

In reality, betting has its positive and negative sides however, given Nigeria’s recession and high unemployment figures, the impact of the betting industry in the nation’s economy has been positive as it has created thousands of jobs directly and indirectly. Big betting companies have staff strength running into hundreds; and through their associate and affiliate networks, they offer agents a source of livelihood from commissions earned as people engage in betting. These are the key findings from the Betting Poll conducted by NOIPolls in the week of July 17th 2017.

Survey Findings

In a bid to ascertain the prevalence of betting in Nigeria, respondents were asked to express their opinions on its prevalence and analysis of results revealed that a large majority (77 percent) stated that betting is prevalent in Nigeria. Residents from the South-West zone (92 percent) had the highest prevalence, while the North-west zone (57 percent) recorded the lowest prevalence. Interestingly, analysis by age-groups shows that those aged between 18 – 35 years recorded the highest percentage (79 percent) of respondents who stated that betting in Nigeria is prevalent.

Following the high prevalence of betting, respondents were asked about betting platforms known to them and results revealed Bet9ja (64 percent) as the highest known, this finding is validated by a publication on Wings newspaper which reported that Bet9ja is the most popular betting platform in Nigeria. Other betting platforms mentioned are Nairabet (34 percent), Pool companies (22 percent) and Lotto (20 percent).

The poll also sought to measure the proportion of Nigerians who are involved in betting and analysis revealed that nearly 4 in 10 Nigerians (36 Percent) actually engage in some form of betting and those aged between 18 – 35 years accounted for the largest proportion (41 percent) of Nigerians in this category. This finding is in line with the report from News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) which stated that Nigerians aged (18-40) years are most likely involved in betting[5]. On the contrary, a larger proportion of the respondents disclosed that they do not engage in or have a family member who engages in betting. It is worthy to note that some of these respondents may out rightly refuse to disclose their participation due to societal stigmatization.

The survey sought to determine the frequency of Nigerians who actually engage in betting and analysis revealed that more than half of the respondents (53 Percent) disclosed that they bet or stake games on ‘daily’ basis.  While 39 percent engage in it ‘a few times a month’, a meagre one percent say they rarely engage in it.

In the same vein, a further probe established that majority (60 percent) of the respondents disclosed that they only win ‘a few times a month’, this is followed by 29 percent who win ‘a few times in a week’. While 8 percent claimed that they have ‘never’ won any bet, 3 percent indicated that they win ‘on a daily basis’.

In order to ascertain the factors that influence the choice of betting platforms adopted by the betting population, findings reveal that 26 percent mentioned ‘timely payment’ as the main factor that influences their choice. This was closely followed by respondents who believe it is the ‘odds/stake placed on a game’ (24 percent). Other determinants mentioned include ‘reputation for payment’ (21 percent), ‘ease of use’ (15 percent) among others.

In conclusion, this latest poll by NOIPolls has revealed the rising trend of betting and gambling in Nigeria, especially among the country’s bulging youth population. Sadly, this trend is driven by the quest for quick money, unemployment, greed and economic hardship amongst others. However, our concern is that while betting and gambling may serve as an avenue to pull surplus funds from the economy for savings and investment puposes; the side effects of this practice on the population, especially youths may have a negative multiplier on the country. Betting and gambling have been found to be quite addictive and can stimulate further social vices if not properly managed. Gambling has ruined homes and marriages, and rendered people brankrupt and there’s need for proper sensitisation on the negative effects of gambling and betting.

Finally, it is important for regulatory bodies such as the National Lottery Commission to step up its regulatory efforts to ensure that the practice isn’t abused and exposed to young people, especially teenagers.

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