Opinion

Sports betting in Africa..is it entertainment or full time work?

The mushrooming of gaming spots in the continent and across the world in the wake of international lockdowns and travel restrictions has left authorities in these countries wondering if this is now a full time occupation or just an occasional activity for an average sport lover.

In places like Las Vegas in USA some people have transformed gaming into a career and daily source of income as their livelihood depend on it, but this is something authorities in Africa say is wrong.

They argue that despite the fact that people win money at casinos, it should not be considered a source of daily income, but just some form of entertainment.

There are fears that there are a number of people who have indulged in gambling as part of making money and forgetting to engage in other economic activities.

Some think there is need for strong education to help the community understand betting.

In places like Tanzania Gambling is a fast-growing industry that currently contributes 3.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDB) and is likely to increase to 5 percent if the business environment improves.

It employs more than 20,000 people directly while there are 50,000 others who are directly employed.

Researchers say that one of the reasons for the increase in sports betting Africa is due to the large number of football fans.

Most casinos interviewed for this report say sports betting is a major customer attraction at their bars.

These places show live broadcasts of football matches, especially the English Premier League (EPL).

It is in these locations where people bet on sports live as they watch their favourite teams play.

Some sporting fans choose less known teams, but in Africa the trend is on the world’s biggest football teams for example Inter Millan vs Real Madrid in their Group B European Champions League match played in Italy recently.

What makes this match very interesting is the fact that Madrid have yet to qualify for the knockout stages and the game against Inter Millan is crucial for both teams in the Champions League.

The reality is that Inter need to win and add points to save themselves from relegation from the Champions League for two consecutive seasons. Madrid have never beaten Inter away. However, Zinedine Zidane has been a rock when he meets Italian teams, having won 7 of the 8 matches he has played with Italian teams.

It is these scenarios that make football very entertaining. For the same reasons, those who bet for recreational purposes do it for moments like these.

To entertain themselves.

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