A new football season is underway, no doubt our streets would be full of youths scampering about from one game center to another. This is a norm for us in Nigeria; every year we see our youths ceaselessly bickering about which football team is better, which is going to win, which players have been great and which ones have not.
A lot of times these quarrels have morphed into great disputes that see fans of different teams engaging in violent disputes against each other, which sometimes eventually leads to the loss of lives of both people directly involved and other innocent citizens.
One very similar attribute of this such fights is where they emanate from. It’s either at the viewing centers or at the betting points which are so many these days. I’ve practically lost count of the ones in my area.
Even the police around don’t see the need to patrol these areas even with the bleak state of things as regards crimes perpetrated there.
It’s a new football season and youths everywhere have geared up for the new betting season also. A lot have been saving up for this, some have even resorted to borrowing funds to use as capital in placing their bets.
It’s saddening to see youths that can be more, do everything they can to gamble their way to the top. They don’t believe in hard work and diligence anymore. Quick money is the easiest way out and gambling seems like the best option so they do it with all gusto.
I’ll tell two stories about two different friends of mine who are chronic gamblers.
The first was a classmate of mine back in my university days, he loved football, but he sure loved betting on it more.
At the start of each season he’ll set apart money for betting and most times he’ll run into debt because no matter how much he put in, he always lost in his predictions (1 short, 2 short). He always lamented about how “one team just cut his game”, and after the season was over, he made nothing from it, instead he incurred debts that took him selling off his belongings to pay off.
The striking thing about this addiction is that he knew he was losing money, but the hope that the next game will be a sure win for him kept him putting even more money into it until the season was over and he realized he had lost it all. Yet, he would say the next season would be better, and year after year this kept reoccurring, he still hasn’t stopped.
Imagine if this guy had put this hope and unwavering trust into starting a business, he’ll probably be raking in hundreds of thousands in profits right now.
The second story is of another friend who loved gambling too, luck was on his side, so he won, his win ran into millions. It was an emotional moment for him, finally, all his hard work had paid off.
Immediately he got a car, he disregarded every advice to invest the money he had won wisely. He began a regal lifestyle, and it lasted for a while until he realized he had only so much left. At this point, he still had enough to invest in a start up, but he refused and instead put it into betting. He believed that since he won before, he’ll do the same with even greater odds because he had a higher sum now to gamble with.
Of course, he lost. He had to take his car for maintenance a couple of times and eventually he had nothing left. Still hopeful, he borrowed money to bet some more, he didn’t accept it, but he was strongly addicted to gambling.
Game after game saw him lose all the cash he had loaned and eventually he had to sell his car to offset the debt.
He was back to square one.
Today this friend still hasn’t learned his lesson.
Gambling has more to do with the psychology of a person than superficially as people think, it impedes reasoning and conditions the mind to think it’s the only way to be successful financially, that’s why you see folks keep gambling even after incurring huge debt.
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This article was first published on 28th August 2017