Betting Backlash: House of Representatives Takes Aim at Sports Betting Amidst Economic Turmoil

In a dramatic move, the House of Representatives has set its sights on curbing sports betting in Nigeria, citing concerns over its societal impact. The resolution, spearheaded by Kelechi Nwogu, calls for strict adherence to the Lottery Regulatory Commission Act, 2005, by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission. The decision comes as an estimated 60 million Nigerians, particularly those aged 18 to 40, are engaged in sports betting.

Nwogu underscores the mental health repercussions of lax regulations on sports betting, pointing to issues such as depression, anxiety, and addiction. Additionally, he highlights the strain on relationships, financial problems, legal entanglements, and job losses resulting from excessive gambling. The lawmaker draws attention to the alarming increase in crime rates and suicides associated with the betting culture.

The House, responding to the motion, urges the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation to launch a nationwide campaign, raising awareness about the adverse effects of youth involvement in sports betting. Simultaneously, the Committee on Inter-Governmental Affairs is tasked with conducting a public hearing within four weeks to explore the dangerous effects of sports betting in Nigeria.

Despite the legislative push, a staff member from SportyBet criticizes the timing, deeming it insensitive amid the country’s economic hardships. The move is perceived as a threat to employment opportunities within the industry, with concerns about its potential impact on the livelihoods of many Nigerians.

Punters, such as Emmanuel Abraham and Bennet Winner, condemn the proposal, seeing it as a distraction from larger economic issues. They argue that addictive tendencies exist in various aspects of life, and sports betting, for many, serves as a legitimate source of income. The lawmakers are accused of attempting to strip away opportunities without addressing the root causes of economic challenges.

As the debate rages on, the Association of Nigerian Bookmakers remains silent, leaving the fate of the sports betting industry hanging in the balance.

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Ilesanmi Adekanbi

Ilesanmi Adekanbi, writers and loves writing the story of politics, He is a movie addict. Adekanbi is a Senior Content Creator at Newsflash Nigeria contact me on email: [email protected]

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