A betting generation, is like a house built on riparian land, it can get demolished at any time. Once upon a time, the society was built on the virtue of hard work. ‘If you shall not work, you shouldn’t eat’, was a slogan echoing in everyone’s mind. Not anymore. Well, just like dinosaurs, this virtue has found its way into extinction. The youths no longer want the fishing rod, leave alone knowing how to fish. All they want is fish, on silver Plata. Kenya is the best in Africa, not just in athletics, this time in number of youths who are betting. As of now, Kenya is a betting empire, a benchmark for other countries. While Chinese Youths are struggling to decide where to go to first, Jupiter or Uranus, Kenyan youths are in a dilemma of whether to bet a ‘goal-goal’ or ‘ over 2.5’.
Kenya was a Garden of Eden, where sports served its purpose; fun and Entertainment. This is before the Adams and Eves of this country desired the forbidden fruit of sport betting and the ending of this story will not be pretty either. As it stands, sporting has lost its integrity and we may not have sports fans in future. The gamers seem not to understand the concept of Cost-Benefit analysis, especially in betting where the costs incurred, by far, overshadows the benefits accrued. Sport betting is a loose-loose-win scenario, where two Kenyans exchange the losing position overtime while the betting companies make a fortune.
Betting is like ‘crack cocaine’ or marijuana, very addictive and mind suppressing. People bet in the hope of changing their financial state only to find themselves speeding towards financial ruin. Universities are supposed to be institutions of higher learning where scholars pursue knowledge to enhance their skills and bring better socioeconomic state in the country. At least, that is the blue print. But the reality is, Kenyan universities is made up of den of gamblers, hungry for quick money. It is painful when you walk into computer labs in the universities, meant for research and academic activities, and all you see are tabs of open betting sites. It’s safe to say that the future of this country is at stake, after all the dream carriers are fortune-hunters. The economy also suffers a knock, with reduced pool of skilled labor and low productivity due to workers spending most of their times betting.
Lucky for Ugandans, they won’t have to suffer the agony of betting. President Museveni, unsurprisingly, has cut the chains of casting lots and has released the people of Uganda from the prison of Betting. That was so President Museveni, a man who always has his way, this time for the good of Ugandans. If there is a leaf the Kenyan government of Kenya needs to borrow is this on banning betting in the country. It is not normal when people are committing suicide because of betting. It cannot be business as usual, when a 13-year-old pupil from Kilifi commits suicide because of sport betting.
Kenyans are captives of sport betting, in prisons of their own creation. If corruption is destroying this country, then betting is dismantling the little that has remained of it. Gambling should be criminalized, and efforts be put in place to re-adjust the focus of Kenyan Youths to more productive activities. As much as the betting companies are repainting the face of the Kenyan sport, that does not undo the wrongs it does to the future of this country. Supporting gambling is tempting fate, and when it finally strikes, it might be a little too late to put the situation under control.