By:David Nti (GIJ)
In recent times, Ghana has been said to be the home of one of the largest gambling sectors in the world. Gambling, particularly online casinos and sports betting,.What can we say about more betting companies coming to Ghana? It is because gambling is legal and carefully regulated in Ghana by the Gaming Commission of Ghana?
As we talk about gambling, and in particular sports betting, is taking on a new dimension in Odumase Krobo, where we see the spring up of more betting centers in the town of Odumase Krobo. As a result of being the capital of the Lower Manya Krobo district and the location of the majority of economic activities, Odumase Krobo is a cosmopolitan area with people from all walks of life said to have a very young and vibrant youth generation. Most of the youth there are of school-going age and the few that are working are in farming, bead making, petty trade, and much more Okada riding business.
With such a young and vibrant youth, most parents are concerned about the rise of betting centers in their community. Sports betting is said to be a source of entertainment, but their concerns now is that it is addictive to the youth because the more they go there to watch football games, the more they learn about how to bet on the teams they support, thus, becoming addicted to the center and, moreover, deterring them from attending school at all times.
Madam Teye Fio, a resident of the area, complained about the unemployment status of most youth in the community who are not gainfully employed and get themselves into these betting activities to gain more but end up losing the little they get. This has become a big worry to her since they could have used it for a better thing.
Another resident, a carpenter, stated that most of the youth now do not want to learn any trade for their future but instead spend their days at betting centers from morning to evening, all in the name of making quick money, which turns out to be an addiction and a bad influence on them and causes them to get involved in all negative things to earn more so that they can continue with their betting attitude.
As we discuss sports betting and its impact on the people of Odumase Krobo, what can we do to save such a vibrant young generation? Is it only the government’s responsibility to control betting in the country, or is it our collective responsibility as a nation to help educate on it?