A CRITICAL INVESTIGATION ON THE FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PREVALENCE OF SPORTS GAMBLING DISORDER AMONG NIGERIAN YOUTHS
Background of the study
The time of youth development may exhibit a greater inclination towards the manifestation of sport gambling problem compared to other developmental periods. This activity has the potential to yield perilous or perhaps lethal consequences, such as suicide, accidents, and profound remorse. The issue of sport gambling disorder is a subject of significant concern among several academic and professional groups, including educational stakeholders, medical practitioners, sociologists, religious leaders, counsellors, and parents (Akanle & Kolade, 2015). The issue at hand is a pressing concern at both national and international levels, since it involves a significant level of young engagement. Sports gambling disease refers to behaviours that have the potential to expose individuals to injury or a considerable risk of harm, so impeding their ability to achieve their full potential (James, O’Malley, & Tunney, 2017). In keeping with widespread opinions about what constitutes Sports gambling disorde, hence youth Sports gambling disorder is a behavioural pattern characterised by the possibility for adverse outcomes, such as financial losses, which are counterbalanced by perceived benefits, such as financial gains. When the benefits of an action are much more than the drawbacks, it is uncommon for individuals to see it as dangerous. Conversely, when the drawbacks exceed the benefits, the behaviour is often considered to be very risky or even imprudent. Various factors may contribute to the development of gambling problem, such as sensation-seeking tendencies, individual temperament, levels of self-esteem, and the influence of peer pressure, among other potential influences. Protective variables that mitigate risk-taking behaviours may include a heightened sense of self-esteem and a propensity towards an internal locus of control. On the other hand, those in their adolescence who exhibit notable levels of sensation-seeking and impulsivity have a greater susceptibility to partaking in precarious activities like as sports betting.
In addition, there is growing concern among parents and significant others over the prevalence of sports betting among young people. This concern stems from the observation that youngsters are using their educational funds and personal allowances to engage in gambling activities with the aim of earning monetary rewards. This perspective may be grounded in the belief that the higher the level of risk associated with a game, the greater the potential payoff. According to Kam et al. (2017), it is plausible that this event has had a significantly adverse impact on their future plans.
Sports betting has become a prevalent practise at Nigerian universities, with youths often engaging in discussions over concepts such as "odds double chance," "over one point five," and "goal goal," among other related terms. Sports betting has seen a surge in popularity and has emerged as a very lucrative sector within the gambling industry. This is particularly evident in the realm of football betting, where enthusiasts engage in predicting game outcomes. Fans who accurately forecast outcomes are provided with rewards, while those whose predictions are incorrect face financial penalties. The phenomenon of supporters in Nigeria demonstrating a heightened degree of dedication and knowledge in their comprehension of football is becoming prevalent. These fans, who can be considered true enthusiasts, are going beyond mere support and actively engaging in activities like as betting to showcase their commitment to the sport. According to a study conducted by Ssewanyana and Bitanihirw (2018), a significant proportion of football enthusiasts in Nigeria exhibit a preference for international European football leagues.
Football betting in Nigeria is mostly centred on prominent European leagues. The main European Leagues that have the highest level of popularity among Nigerian supporters, in descending order, are the English Premiership, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, and German Bundesliga. The English Premier Clubs attract the largest fan base, followed by the Spanish La Liga in second position, and the Italian Serie A in third. According to Roberts et al. (2016), the clubs with the highest level of fan support, ranked in descending order, are Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Liverpool. The prevalence of sports betting in Benue State has seen significant growth since 2015, coinciding with the emergence of online sports betting platforms such as NairaBet, NiajaBet, and Access.
Moreover, several communities, particularly those experiencing economic adversity and social challenges, see gaming as a potential remedy for these afflictions. Several areas experiencing high rates of unemployment have discovered a means of economic revitalization via the practise of gambling, namely by establishing pool and sport betting facilities (Sammut, 2010).
The younger generation, particularly students, have increasingly turned to engaging in betting activities, sometimes prioritising this above their educational pursuits. In several cases, students have tragically resorted to suicide after financial losses incurred from gambling activities. Additionally, there have been situations when students have been unable to fulfil academic obligations, such as completing examinations, or have been forced to discontinue their university education altogether due to the misallocation of funds intended for tuition fees towards gambling endeavours, resulting in significant losses. Although gambling was not a prevalent issue in Nigeria throughout the 1980s and 1990s, it has emerged as a significant concern in recent years, necessitating more investigation and comprehension. According to the definition provided by the Productivity Commission (PC, 2010), gambling may be understood as the act of wagering money or other valuable assets on the result of a game or event that is mostly determined by chance. Sports betting refers to the act of wagering both economic and non-economic resources on the outcomes of football matches or other games (Fageyinbo & Kolade, 2015).Sport betting is a kind of gambling when individuals willingly wager their money with the expectation of earning greater financial returns contingent upon the outcome of a chosen sports event, such as a football match, in accordance with the terms and conditions established by the betting organisation.
Nevertheless, the issue of gambling is prevalent across many age cohorts. Nonetheless, university students are seen to be a particularly susceptible demographic due to the transitional nature of their academic journey, which frequently entails leaving the familial environment and experiencing a reduction in related constraints on their behaviour (Koross, 2016). According to a study conducted by Koross (2016), it has been observed that this particular segment of the population exhibits a much higher prevalence of "disordered" gambling compared to adults in the general population, with a rate that is three times higher. Furthermore, this specific segment of the population also displays one of the highest frequencies of problem and pathological gambling when compared to other segments of the population. According to Koross (2016), a significant proportion of university students, around 67%, engage in sports betting by using their tuition fees. Therefore, it is imperative to address the issue of student engagement in gambling, as it has detrimental consequences on both student behaviour and society at large. This matter has garnered significant attention across Nigeria, warranting serious consideration.
Sport betting may lead to several adverse outcomes, such as criminal activities, financial indebtedness and bankruptcies, job setbacks, homelessness, strained familial and personal relationships, and perhaps even suicide, as highlighted by the National Council on Problem Gambling. According to a study conducted by the National Research Council in 2019, it has been shown that a considerable proportion, up to 20%, of individuals seeking assistance for gambling-related issues exhibit suicidal tendencies. Additionally, the same study reveals that around two-thirds of these individuals have engaged in illicit activities as a means to sustain their gambling habits (National Research Council, 2019). According to a study conducted by Koross (2016) at the Youth Gambling Institute located at Mc Gill University in Montreal, Canada, university students represent the most precarious population and the age group with the greatest risk. This is mostly attributed to their perception of being intellectually superior to others and possessing invulnerability. Against this background, the study investigates the factors associated with the prevalence of sports gambling disorder among Nigerian youths..
1.2 Statement of the problem
According to Abbott's (2017) study, individuals who engage in recurrent gambling behaviour face challenges in regulating their impulse to gamble. This struggle is often attributed to the accumulation of substantial debts resulting from excessive gambling. Consequently, these individuals find themselves in circumstances where resorting to dishonesty and engaging in criminal activities becomes necessary to acquire funds for debt settlement (Abbott, 2017). In light of the existing research on the issue of gambling among university students, the present study extends its scope to examine the prevalence of sports gambling disorder among Nigerian adolescents enrolled in certain institutions in Ogun State. Hence, the study investigates the factors associated with the prevalence of sports gambling disorder among Nigerian youths.
1.3 Objective of the study
The broad objective of the study is to investigate the factors associated with the prevalence of sports gambling disorder among Nigerian youths. The specific objectives is as follows
Determine the factors perceived to be the reason for sports gambling among Nigerian youths.
Investigate the prevalence of sports gambling disorder among Nigerian youths.
Assess the factors associated with the prevalence of sports gambling disorder among Nigerian youths.
1.4 Research questions
The following questions have been prepared for the study
What are the factors perceived to be the reason for sports gambling among Nigerian youths?
What is the prevalence of sports gambling disorder among Nigerian youths?
What are the factors associated with the prevalence of sports gambling disorder among Nigerian youths?
1.5 Significance of the study
The study's results provided pertinent insights into the issue of gambling addiction among university students in Nigeria for the researchers. These results have the potential to assist academics and researchers in advancing the current body of literature and understanding pertaining to the issue of gambling among university students in Nigeria. The present research has generated insights that may be used by counsellors and therapists to enhance the existing theories and approaches employed in the field of counselling. This knowledge has the potential to enhance the counselling practises used by professionals working with university students who are experiencing gambling-related issues.
1.6 Scope of the study
The study focuses on the factors associated with the prevalence of sports gambling disorder among Nigerian youths. Hence, the study will determine the factors perceived to be the reason for sports gambling among Nigerian youths, investigate the prevalence of sports gambling disorder among Nigerian youths and assess the factors associated with the prevalence of sports gambling disorder among Nigerian youths. Therefore, the study is delimited to Oshogbo, Osun State.
1.7 Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
1.8 Definition of terms
Sport gambling: the activity of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome.