Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi: ‘Betting machines gang-shops: The gangsters and the emerging ‘enemy’ within!’


Edo State , South South, Nigeria is the first and only state in Nigeria that operates state lottery scheme, with Edo Power Ball, Edo Mega Millions, Edo Lotto and Edo Football Jackpot and a host of other games. According to the state government, Edo State is targeting $70 billion dollars global lottery industry market. This is the ‘Betting Machines Gang-shops’ spring at every seconds at strategic corners in Nigeria.

Nigeria has the largest extreme poverty population [June 2018]. The 86.9 million Nigerians now living in extreme poverty represents nearly 50% of its estimated 200 million population. As Nigeria faces a major population boom – it will become the world’s third largest country by 2050 – it’s a problem that will likely worsen. – World Bank

Nigeria ‘Betting’ Industry is estimated to worth $70 billion. There are over 19 Online Football Betting sites in Nigeria and Nigeria is said to be the fastest growing betting market in Africa. Over $12 million dollars is spent daily on bets estimated at over $4 billion dollars per year by 60 million Nigerians that’s is around 30% of Nigeria’s population!

Every seconds a new ‘betting machines gang-shops’ is set up in a street corner across the 36 states of Nigeria. Lagos State the economic capital Nigeria remains the hub of ‘Betting Machines Gang-shops’ in Nigeria. Nigeria is said to have the largest and fanatical followings of European Football clubs in the world.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers [PwC], “Lagos State Lotteries Board [LSLB] issued over 40 licenses to operators in 2017.” Following suit is Edo State, South South, Nigeria. Edo State is the first only state in Nigeria that operates state lottery scheme.

At 07:00 hrs West Africa Time, 150 kilometres south of Nigeria’s political and administrative capital Abuja, lies Koton Karfe, Kogi Local Government Area, Kogi State, North Central Nigeria.

Crowded inside this ‘Betting Machines Gang-shops’ were twenty young boys and men between the ages of thirteen and forty. They came to predict, bet and forecasts the day’s winning numbers on the ever increasing, surging and popular ‘Betting Machines Gang-shops’ across Nigeria.

They play, predict, bet, permutations, odds and forecasts via mobile phones and on the various computers displayed in the ‘Betting Machines Gang-shops’. With Nigeria unemployment rate increased to 23.10 percent in the third quarter of 2018 soaring at over 23 million unemployed and un-employable youths, according to data from Nigeria Bureau of Statistics [NBS], ‘Betting Machines Gang-shops’ has become the haven and the new found succor for instant wealth. Nigeria is currently crippled with four types of unemployment, they are; structural, frictional, seasonal and cyclical.

The story is the same across the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory and the 774 Local Government Areas and the 8810 Wards across the country. The uprising and enemy within of ‘Betting Machines Gang-shops’. The lists of online betting sites in Nigeria are endless as new online betting sites keep emerging!

In rural communities across Nigeria ‘Betting Machines Gang-shops’ has become a hub for forecasters, soccer seers and analysts cohorts that trooped in from dawn to nightfall daily to forecasts, bet and predict the days’ winning numbers via their mobile phones and online on the ever booming betting and gaming business!

With an array of computers interconnected to the central processing pay office with Internet connectivity, winning numbers are displayed. It has become a ‘Seance’ room with everyone predicting!

The ‘Betting Machines Gang-shops’ is now eroding initiatives, potentials and skills among the ever desperate Nigerian population, the betting in some ‘Betting Machines Gang-shops’ involves, men, women, boys, girls and adolescents as they converged as early as 07:00 hrs West Africa Time in the ‘Betting Machines Gang-shops’ daily across Nigeria communities.
The strategy of betting a small amount of money with the chance to score something big seems to be increasingly popular among young people. A poll revealed that Nigerians bet on football games every day not only because it is a way to make quick money, but also because it distracts people from high unemployment rates.

With a seemed doomed, “I come here daily to see if I can hit the brace one day”, enthused a seventeen year old Felix Wakama, in one of the ‘Betting Machines Gang-shops’ located in Jiwa, a suburb of Abuja Municipal Area Council [AMAC] in the Nigeria’s political and administrative capital, Abuja.

Right inside football view centers, predictions and permutations are deduced and where they decide what the eventual scores are likely to be. From the popular ‘Lotto’ and ‘Baba Ijebu’, the sudden ‘Betting Machines Gang-shops’ has literally taken over the entire thinking landscape of Nigeria youths as an alternative as they seems helpless in getting white collar jobs nor assured of the next meal.

With National Lottery Regulatory Commission [NLRC] the body that regulates lottery activities in Nigeria. The commission was established through the National Lottery Act of 2005. ‘Betting Machines Gang-shops’ games is official and not a crime.

From 07:00hrs – 21:00hrs West Africa Time, it is an uprising at ‘Betting Machines Gang-shops’ across Nigeria. The Gangsters and the emerging ‘Enemy’ within!

Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi.
Research & Data Analyst, Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism Mobiles: +234.816.950.3218.
Twitter: @Taiwo387
Website: https://ptcij.org/blog/member/taiwo-adeyemi/
‘Learn the truth that you are carrying in your ‘HEART’ like hidden Treasure’

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