Sport Betting in Nigeria ...Is It Gambling ..IIs It Sin ....What About the Youth Empowerment Benefits...?

 The growing popularity of Sport Betting in Nigeria and the fact that many more youth across the country are getting involved in it daily, may have also arise several questions: Is sport betting gambling, is it a legitimate business, by that I mean, is it legal and is it sin….? What about the youth empowerment benefits?

Perhaps for the youths who are still sitting on the fence and not sure if they should get down to it… We’ll be looking at it from various angles and then allow you make the decisions yourself.

…Is Sport Betting Gambling?
To understand it better, let’s look at the definition from Oxford Advance English Dictionary:
“Gambling is an activity characterized by balance between Winning and losing that is governed by a mixture of skill and chance, usually with money wagered on the outcome.” 

… That’s exactly what sport betting is, an activity characterized by balance between winning and losing. Although, many have argued that it requires your knowledge and skills in sport, not just luck. But the outcome largely depends on chance. Of course, you have to stake money to complete your betting.

But a school of thought also argued that on the basis of the definition above, every business should also be classified as gambling!  Business depends on chance, which requires the knowledge and skills of the managers to win or lose out in the business. Sport betting is as much a gambling as Stock trading or even FOREX trading. The only difference is Stock Exchange business is conducted by more matured businessmen on suit, making it seems more officious.

But during the economic melt-down of  four years ago, most people that invested on Stock with expectations to gain large sum of money as dividend all lost their funds – so what’s the difference? Stock trading can also be very addictive.

…Is Sport Betting Legal?
Sport betting is an organized gambling business supported by the law of Nigeria. As long as the Bookmaker properly registered the company with the National Lottery Board then, what he has is a legitimate business… Such registration also covers all their officially recognized Agents across the country.

Therefore, no law enforcement official in Nigeria can arrest or prosecute anyone for getting involved in sport betting. Bettors are free to carry on their business from any part of the country that upholds civil Law. I hear Sharia Law forbid gambling.
Now, let’s look at the religion implication of Sport betting.

…Is Sport Betting Sin?
Gambling as regards to Sport Betting is not Sin par-se. But one football fan response in joke said: “…If Sport Betting was available then, I’m sure Judas wouldn’t sell Jesus. He would have opted for sport betting…” Suggested that participation in Sport betting a show of unwanted greed.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I haven’t come across any scripture that says gambling is sin. I guess there was nothing like sport betting in the bible days… that may be the reason most Gospel preachers are a little silent about the matter. So, Christians win and pay tithe from sport betting pay outs, believing it was God that gave them the power to succeed in it.

I am a Christian and I know to some people smoking, Alcohol… are not sinful acts, so also some people might not see sport betting as SIN. But if Christ lives in you, he will surely tell you what’s sinful and what’s not.  

A Muslim colleague of mine even told me that Islam out rightly forbid gambling.  "Gambling is haraam because Allaah has forbidden it."

As a Christian I will tell you why I think sport betting is not expedient for a believer:
1.     Sport Betting makes a person rely on luck and wishful thinking rather than faith in the Almighty God.
2.     Sport Betting turn people away from God, and to pursue knowledge of football players and teams. Making Sport Betting become an Idol in their Hearts.
3.     Sport Betting is hobbies that encourages waste of time and makes people get use to laziness and idleness.
4.     Addiction in Sport Betting cause people to commit crime, because the one who is penniless would want to get hold of money by all means and can do anything….
5.     Sport Betting destroys Christian family value and causes the loss of wealth.

Sport Betting, Youth Empowerment through Gambling
Sport betting is one of the millennial evolution that have transferred millions of Naira into the hands of the youths.

In a country like Nigeria, where over 65% of its youths can’t find jobs and live in abject poverty, sport betting seems like a windfall from heaven and a noble business to do outside Internet fraud, popularly called “Yahoo – Yahoo.” 

  A report from Roosters, stated that there are over 25 major sport betting brands in Nigeria, over 2 million Agents outlets and over 10 million active bettors across the country.

No government poverty alleviation scheme or public-private initiative that has been able to achieve such economic lifting for the youths. One fan that got pissed off by these matter arising reacted this way:
“It’s time people make effective use of their time rather than assuming nonsense. Tell me where it  is written in the Bible? The same thing they told me when I went into FOREX, it’s just ignorance on rampage!”

Well, it really depends on your belief and value system. For me as a Christian, I think it’s not right. Anything that takes away your utmost attention from God is not expedient

The truth is, Sport Betting make you gamble and gamblers blow, but they never get rich in their entire life – it’s a self destructive habit that quickly destroys your credibility and integrity.

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