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Betting: The new threat to Kenyan youths

By Carolyne Mutisya | February 6th 2017
Kenyans are known to be fast adapters. Both for the good and the bad, the profitable and unprofitable.

We are like sponges, absorbing everything that comes our way. A new wave has swept the Kenyan masses, betting.

It is the new hobby and likely career choice taken up by a substantial number of college students.

Sports betting, in particular, has become a fast growing addiction among the youth who earn thousands of shillings in sitting and equally loose thousands over time.

This betting craze has engulfed the hearts and minds of our generation. Betting has taken root in Kenya and it is partly thanks to the media which prudently packages this fad into glamorous commercials, newspaper ads, billboards and pop-up ads on the internet.

This multi-billion untaxed industry draws unsuspected masses, urging Kenyans to place bets with as little as twenty thousand shillings and make a big win.

 It is as if Jesus is in town, not multiplying bread and fish but whatever money is in our pocket.

I don’t know which is worse, losing a bet or winning one. University students who seek to forge a better future themselves choose the easy way out.

It is tragic that some of my colleagues will use their tuition fees to place a bet, choosing finite cash over knowledge.

The youth who are the future of this nation now live by the backward philosophy of getting what they want without sweating.
 Although betting is not illegal, these online casinos with money floating around allure many University students trying to be millionaires overnight, but ironically not knowing how to handle ten thousand.

In an interview with the Standard newspaper, Raila Odinga termed the betting mania as “a hustler philosophy… ” Instead of saving the amount placed in bets and invest it over time (key word time), greed is becoming our ally.

The European Football clubs have demanded our eyes, we gave them. Now they are demanding the shillings that are in our pocket and we are giving them.

The biggest winners in this betting game are foreign sports entities which have bagged Khs 3 billion so far in sponsorship deals, supported by elites in our country.

 In a case of taking from the poor to give to the poor and glossing everything by pumping millions into local sports associations, it doesn’t take an analyst to figure out that these betting entities are a business and not a charity.
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