AN ANALYSIS OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH SPORTS BETTING AFFECTING YOUTHS IN RIVERS STATE
Background of the study
The increase in legalized gambling opportunities across the globe has stimulated a high rate of gambling participation in many countries including Nigeria. Sports betting, casino, poker and lotteries are some of the various forms of gambling. One of the forms of gambling that has gained prominence in Africa is online sports betting. As indicated by Hing, et al.,2019), sports betting is increasing worldwide through increased turnover in existing markets and expansion into new ones as legislation becomes more liberal. Sports betting is a popular form of gambling where people made predictions about sporting results and place a bet (wager) on its outcome with the hope of winning a set prize (National Lottery Act 2015). The higher the number of matches an individual predicts the higher the expected outcome if the prediction is right at the end of the match. Internet and social media platforms have made sports betting and other forms of gambling more “ubiquitous and socially acceptable” for young people . Many of adolescents now consider gambling, smoking, and drinking as a rite of passage into adulthood. There are reports of young male sports fans using sports betting as a form of social and group cohesion (e.g. Deans et al. 2016).
In Africa the market for sports betting has increased rapidly over the past decade. Due to a dearth of scientific findings, there is much debate on the extent to which university students are engaged in online sports betting although, current estimates indicate that between 57-76% of Kenyans have participated in gambling (Geopoll, 2017; 2019) with 29% of the gamblers being students (Wangari, 2018).Youth with post secondary education form the bulk of Kenyans involved in gambling. According to Mwadime, (2017) most of those who gamble in Kenya are aged below 40 years while Koross, (2016) reports that over 78% of university students in Kenya gamble at least once a week. University students are especially vulnerable to gambling disorder compared to the general population (Hing,et al.,2016). The studies conducted on gambling in Kenya have been done among the general population and provide estimates of the frequency of gambling.
In Nigeria, the most popular sport gambling being patronized include: Naira Bet, Bet 9ja, Sure Bet, Winners Golden Bet, 1960 Bet, Merry Bet, Bet Colony, Stakers Den while the foreign betting games include but are not limited to: Bet 360, Bet 365, 1x Bet, 24H Bet, 368 Bet, Apollo Bet, Bet-atHome. Typically all the aforementioned betting companies create an open platform for interested persons to predict the outcome of a game – Football, Basketball, Car race, Hockey, Dog race, Virtual among others. Fans that predict correctly are rewarded and those whose predictions were wrong lose their monies. This is fast becoming the order in Nigeria, as fans that are “fans enough” go a step further to “stake” on the higher level of fandom and expertise in the football understanding (Jamiu, 2019).
Currently, the increasing fascination and participation of youth in sports betting is alarming, and has precipitated an outcry among parents and society at large (Sanga, 2017). Although gambling may provide an innocuous chance for excitement and relief of boredom for the occasional gambler, it can have adverse consequences on the compulsive gambler. Compulsive gambling not only affects the individual psychologically and financially, it also leads to other social problems such as crime and loss of productivity. This makes it a public health concern. The proliferation of undesirable effects of compulsive gambling on the psychological wellbeing of the individual has led to interest among mental health professionals in diagnosis and treatment of the condition. The American Psychiatric Association, (2013) classifies compulsive gambling as Gambling Disorder. Furthermore, sport betting among young adults has become what parents and significant others complain about due to how children use their school fees and pocket money to bet games so as to win money. This may be based on the odds which they believe that the more risky the game the more the reward. This may have tremendously affected their plan for the future negatively. . Despite the knowledge that many university students gamble, it is not clear on what the psychological factors associated with sport betting affecting youth and many of them are disordered gamblers and which factors are associated with disordered gambling.Upon this premise, this study is conducted on an analysis of the psychological factors associated with sport betting affecting youths in Rivers state.
Statement of the Problem
Gambling has become an activity that most Nigerian youths and adolescents engaged in, with accessibility due to available internet. Evidence suggests that problem and non-problem gamblers have similar motivations to gamble but the motivational strength differs for problem gamblers. In particular, winning money (chasing losses) and relieving tension, stress and emotional distress are implicated in promoting continued gambling (Abbott 2017). However, there are many reasons why people gamble. These may be broadly classified under two non-mutually exclusive types of motivation: the desire for positively reinforcing subjective excitement and arousal; and the desire for the negatively reinforcing relief or escape from stress or negative emotional states. Both social and monetary reward expediencies facilitate gambling.
Conversely, Jacobs, pointed that psychological factors that may lead to sport betting may include sensation-seeking, temperament, self-esteem and peer pressure among others. Whereas protective factors against risk-taking may include a high level of self-esteem and an orientation toward an internal locus of control. In contrast, youth who may be characterized by high levels of sensation-seeking and impulsivity appear to be more vulnerable to engaging in risky behaviours like sport betting. News Agency of Nigeria (Vanguardngr.com 2014) reported that about 60 million Nigerians spend up to N1.8 billion on sports betting daily with an average bet of #3000 per day. Indeed, some young people in some African cities perceived gambling as an acceptable activity and alternative source of livelihood toward which they would rather devote substantial time and energies (Ahaibwe et al. 2016). Oyeleke et al. (2017) reported that 78% of sports bettors in Ibadan, Nigeria have been gambling for at least 6 months and on the average usually spent more than 2 h at the bet parlors each time they gamble. Furthermore, more than half (53%) of bettors in Nigeria bet every day (NOIPoll 2017).
As opposed to the burgeoning literature exploring gambling in Western nations (Abbott 2017; Calado and Grifths 2016), there is a paucity of research on gambling behavior in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ssewanyana and Bitanihirwe 2018). Many of the existing studies on gambling and sports betting in Nigeria have investigated a relatively limited set of psychosocial factors (Oyeleke et al. 2017; Oyebisi et al. 2012). This present study is aimed at flling the gap in the literature by simultaneously examining how psychological factors, peer-based gambling, and sports betting knowledge may interact with one another to shape young adults’ attitudes toward sports betting.
1.3 Objective of the Study
This study is focused on an analysis of the psychological factors associated with sport betting affecting youths in Rivers State. The study specifically, seeks to:
Determine the prevalence of youth engagement in fsports betting among Nigerian.
Find out if knowledge about sports betting processes is associated with pschological factors associated affecting youths in Rivers State.
Investigate whether thought of sport gambling as an alternative source of livelihood is associated with sport betting affecting youths in Rivers State,
Ascertain if low self esteem and lack of self-control is associated with sport betting affecting youths in Rivers State,
1.4 Research Question
What is the prevalence of youth engagement in sports betting among Nigerian.?
Does knowledge about sports betting processes is associated with psychological factors associated affecting youths in Rivers State?
Does thought of sport gambling as an alternative source of livelihood is associated with sport betting affecting youths in Rivers State?
Does low self esteem and lack of self-control is associated with sport betting affecting youths in Rivers State?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Ho: There are no psychological factors associated with sport betting affecting youths in Rivers State.
Hi: There are psychological factors associated with sport betting affecting youths in Rivers State.
1.6 Significance of the study
Findings of this study will be useful to Parents, educators, gambling regulatory bodies, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, and NGOs.To Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, and NGOs , the result of the study will encourage them on the need to design appropriate programs to educate youths that sports betting is not a viable source of income, and that deviant friends can lead one into irresponsible betting.
Furthermore, the study results will help parents and other family members refrain from modelling behaviors that will endanger the future of younger members of the family. Gambling regulatory bodies through the findings of the study will be able develop appropriate plans to filter access to sport betting apps and sites as well as to regulate online betting practices and formulate socially responsible betting policies.
Empirically the study will add to the general body of knowledge and serve as a reference material to scholars and student who wishes to conduct further studies on related field.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study borders on the psychological factors associated with sport betting affecting youths in Rivers State. The further discusses how knowledge of sports betting processes is associated with psychological factors associated affecting youths in Rivers State, find out if thought if sport gambling as an alternative source of livelihood and low self esteem and lack of self-control is associated with sport betting affecting youths in Rivers State.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. However in spite of the constraint all these constraint were downplayed to give the best.
1.9 Definition of terms
Sport: This is a a game, competition, or activity needing physical effort and skill that is played or done according to rules, for enjoyment and/or as a job:
Sport Betting: It is the act of placing a financial wager on the outcome of a sporting match, as well as on events that occur within the larger match or fixture.