The Guardian Nigeria

Tuesday 31 March 2015

Sport Betting… As New Haven For Unemployed Youths

  • By Online Ediitor on March 21, 2015
Lionel Messi scores 90th goal of calendar year in Barcelona’s 4-1 victory over Atletico
Lionel Messi scores 90th goal of calendar year in Barcelona’s 4-1 victory over Atletico

We have people who borrow as much as 20,000 for their daily stakes. It is a gamble and at the end of the day, some of them win, while some lose their money. It is a two-way thing. If you stake N20,000 and win, the company will have to pay. If you lose, the company will smile. But sports betting is a continuous thing because the same people will return the next day for betting.

THEY come in different platforms and operational styles, but to some analysts, sport betting is as risky as it is rewarding.

The list of sports betting companies in Nigeria seem to be growing faster than the harmattan fire; 1960bet, StakersDen, Goldenbet, Nigeriabet, naijabet, Betting World and 9japredict. A new sports betting company, Naija4Win, joined the league of bookmaking companies operating in Nigeria during the week.

Though it is risky in nature, many Nigerians, especially the unemployed youths, seem to have fond a new way of making ends meet. On daily bases, they take to online and other forms of sports betting to avoid the wrath of nature, thereby making the market to boom.

From Lagos to Sokoto, Maiduguri to Port Harcourt, Ibadan to Enugu, many young Nigerians of between 18 and 45 years stake various sum of money daily, hoping to get something in return.

In Nigeria, the number of jobless youth is growing in an uncomfortable proportion. Youth unemployment in the country at the moment is said to be as high as 50 percent.

With a growing population of over 160 million people, about 60 million of the youths seems to have channeled their energy into sports betting, placing bets on different matches played in European and other nations daily. And the companies are smiling to the banks daily.

In every nook and crannies of Lagos, the exercise seems to be taking a new dimension, as school children and market women have joined the league.

“To stake your money in sport betting is like taking a chance,” one of the stakers, Adewale, told The Guardian during the week. “I call it a chance because the better informed the staker is, the better his/her chances of making cool money in the business.”

Speaking further, Adewale, who resides in Odogunyan area of Ikorodu, Lagos, said: “Almost everything in life is like a gamble. But the risk is more, when it comes to sport betting because it is not 100 per cent guaranteed. It is quite different from putting your investment various shares in companies or in the banking sector,” he added.

To avoid the risk of wasting all resources, a majority of the youths now spent some of their time doing research on strength of teams before betting.

On the average, Nigerian youths, school children and market women are said to be spending over one billion naira daily on sports betting.

While the school children are said to be committing their ‘lunch money’ in the range of N100 on sports betting, the adults are putting in their daily savings ‘ajo’ ranging from N500 to N3,000 depending on the odd placed on teams.

“Sports betting has become a means of making a living for some of our unemployed youths since jobs are so scarce in the country,” Sylvester Oyetoro said in a chat with The Guardian at a sports betting stand in Alapere motor park, Ketu, Lagos. “Some people stake between N2,000, N5,000, N10,000 and above, depending on their individual.

“You are aware that football and other games are played almost on daily bases in Europe and other parts of the world and many Nigerians, especially the youths, come here to place their bets. At times, some of them stake all their savings and in the process, deny themselves of food. The rush is increasing, but there is nothing one can do to stop the youths because it is better than engaging themselves in criminal activities,” he said.

Sports betting companies seem to enjoy more during the regular football seasons in Europe, if analysis by one agent of 9japredict Company is anything to go by.

“We have more customers, lets say, about 400 people coming to our office to place bets on match days during football seasons. But the number reduces to about 120 to 150 at off-seasons.

He revealed that some betting company could generate up to N18m to N20 million monthly and use between N5 million and N7 million to pay winners.

However, it is not a game of winner take all. Investigations conducted by The Guardian shows that sport betting companies have become the largest employer of youths in the country. In Lagos alone, sports betting outfits have taken a large proportion of the youths off the streets.

But a majority of the people doesn’t like putting their bet on Nigerian matches because the league games are highly predictable.

“They don’t like putting their money on Nigerian matches because the game might just be called off for no clear reason and in that way, their money is gone.

“We have people who borrow as much as 20,000 for their daily stakes. It is a gamble and at the end of the day, some of them win, while some lose their money. It is a two-way thing. If you stake N20,000 and win, the company will have to pay. If you lose, the company will smile. But sports betting is a continuous thing because the same people will return the next day for betting,” another agent, Okon, told The Guardian at Oshodi.

Speaking at the unveiling of the new sports betting company, Naija4Win, in Lagos during the week, Operations Manager of the firm, Daniel Amaechi, said the company is different in its operations based on the uniqueness of its software. He said that the company has licensing partnerships in many states, including www.kokusbets.com in Enugu State.

“The Naija4Win team is passionate to create a world-class, professional and respected bookmaker that Nigeria has long deserved,” he said.

“The proprietary software is solely licensed to Naija Win Limited, and specifically developed for the Nigerian market, making Naija4win the first bookmaker in Nigeria that controls its own software. This format creates more trust with our customers.”

According to him, the shop betting experience is seamlessly linked to its web betting for both personal computers on www.naija4win.com and mobile betting on m.naija4win.com.

Amaechi disclosed that the idea is to either bet in the shops or just top up and bet from home or on the move, adding, “You can also bet using our online payment systems. If you want to create your betting slip before going to the shop, our codes are available online at http://terminals.naija4win.com/fixtures.”

Also speaking at the unveiling, the brand ambassador of the new betting platform, Alban Nwapa, said the organisation’s cutting edge include providing bonus for every five games along with 10 percent bonus wins recorded, paying online and transparency and a central server in Sweden.

He said: “Naija4Win has odds supplied from feeds that update 24/7 from around the world giving on average, the best prices in the market place.

“All other bookmakers in Lagos use the same odds supplier feeds, these are slower and therefore do not reflect true world price. This is why we can afford to have the highest odds on average, “Nwapa said.

  • Ogunyejo Afeez

    This issue of betting is not a small thing some people go to herbalist collect juju , in order to make their prediction perfect. May God save us in Nigeria