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Sports Betting

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Sports betting is now the favourite, and sometimes rewarding, past time of many young Nigerians. The real problem with sports betting and all gambling isn’t that you could lose your money, it is that you lose the far more precious resources of your time, energies (physical, intellectual, creative, emotional), and the focus you need to excel at school, craft, or profession. Sports betting may appear to solve our immediate money problems but it robs us of our future and should be shunned.

Thumbs up?

Bet winnings take care of immediate economic needs. Here’s a breakdown of other positives:

  • Money to feed
  • Money to create capital for other investment or business (potentially)
  • Increases commerce in creating more betting businesses
  • More jobs, more employment opportunities for shop attendants and pundits
  • Increased sale and consumption of internet bandwidth
  • More tax, internally generated revenue for government in VAT, income tax, and business tax

Thumbs down

Excellence in any endeavour requires diligence. These are some ways your continual involvement in sports betting could pose a serious problem for you if you aim to excel in your studies or profession:

Betting or gambling competes with your attention at school or work. No one can excel at a task while distracted all day calculating, agitating over the millions he could make from the NGN 100 bet he placed; or worse if he’s reeling from a near-miss from winning NGN 30 billion. Would he be so inspired to work hard the next day at school, office or workshop?

Betting saps your useful energy. You need enormous amounts of intellectual, creative and physical efforts sustained over time to gain mastery in any field. To succeed at school, you must devote yourself to your studies consistently day after day. The ambitious professional must concentrate for hours per time over the years before he graduates from a rookie to a master.

You can become addicted to betting. Furthermore, the allure of betting can go beyond solving actual economic needs to doing it just for the thrill of winning or losing (for some strange reasons), or just for anticipating the results of events you have little control over.

The Right Bet

You may win more money than you ever put in when you bet but that’s the game: you lose whether you win or don’t. What you lose isn’t money. It’s time, and the miraculous resources of emotional and creative energy you would have expended to create real wealth.

We all lose. We lose the benefit of better products and services, the possibilities of better education and technological advancements when our teachers, barbers, engineers, and students are endlessly fascinated by dreams of easy money from sports betting. Sports betting, though it appears to solve our immediate economic needs, robs us of our future and should be shunned. If we must bet, let us bet only on steadfast work and the fruits we’re bound to harvest now and in the future.

I published my first thoughts on this subject here on my personal blog.

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