Sports Betting, Gambling, Jackpots – How Young Kenyans Are Betting Their Way To Poverty

betting depression treatment in Kenya
Image Courtesy: CF

There is nothing that screams get-rich-overnight like seeing a pauper waving a giant dummy cheque having won a mega jackpot. The smile that usually accompanies that cheque goes a long way in sealing the fate of the doubters and remaining pessimists. With the cost of living sky-rocketing and the rate of employment literary going over the roof, chasing money has become a tell-tale that every Kenyan wants to partake of.

At the centre of this madness are the youth, who form the majority of the population, desperate to make easy money. Then someone announces on the radio that with only Ksh100 you can make Ksh100million overnight.

Who wouldn’t take such a chance? You take that first bet and true to their word, you win a Sh1000 and you are hooked. The next thing you realize is that you cannot get off the computer or your smartphone looking for the next game that you can bet on. Little do you know that your goose has been cooked and placed on the table. You find yourself chasing the promised money, you spend 100kshs, spend another Sh200, then another Sh500, and another Sh1000.

The Gambling Cycle in Kenya Continues

Just as you are about to give up, you win Sh500, so you tell yourself that you are simply unlucky. Not unless you are dug out of that hole, you don’t realize that you have been donating all your money to betting companies. Before long, you are calling your brother or sister to loan you at least Sh500 to place another bet. The funny thing is that your friends cannot help you, not because they don’t want to, but because they are in the same hole as you.

There are more than 10 betting companies in Kenya. If every company has at least 1 million subscribers, this is to say that a quarter of the Kenyan population has taken up gambling as a way of life. I personally term this statistic as dangerous for the Kenyan future.

The Cost of Unga

If the this population is chasing ghost money online, of which the largest population are the young people, then this is to say that the same population is not engaged actively in creating a sustainable economic growth.

No wonder the price of unga is virtually unbearable, because the people who should be working are now caught up in this fantasy of becoming millionaires overnight.

The worst part of all this is that the media has been used to fuel this vice and credit it. Everyday there thousands of images created from the media into the people’s eyes of how easily one can become rich overnight. The stories have been exaggerated to the point of making Kenyans lose their sanity when all the headlines read “A 28yr OLD WINS 200 MILLION MEGAJACKPOT”. To that point, all betting companies get an additional 500 000 new subscribers.

This is the hard truth of our society, there is no easy money!!! For a chance to be a millionaire, thousands of people have lost everything they have, houses, land, and even destroyed relationships.

About Author

This is a guest blog by Stephen Munania who feels that something needs to be done to stem this vice. You can also get your guest blog published on Kuza Blog. Visit here.

Add your thoughts about this story


About Kuza Biashara

About Kuza Biashara

Starting a business is a leap of faith even in the best of circumstances. We at Kuza Biashara are focussed to encourage these daring small business owners who have the potential to innovate and change the world by contributing to the nation’s economy and livelihood.