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EXAMINATION OF THE IMPACT OF ONLINE SPORTS BETTING ON UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN NIGERIA: A PERSPECTIVE OF SPORTS OFFICERS

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EXAMINATION OF THE IMPACT OF ONLINE SPORTS BETTING ON UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN NIGERIA: A PERSPECTIVE OF SPORTS OFFICERS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

In African culture, the prevalence of online sports betting has risen significantly, and the regulations for betting, which are rooted in pre-existing lottery-related guidelines, play a governing role. Following reports on gambling in Africa, Nigeria, in particular, has witnessed a massive expansion in online betting. According to Coopers (2017), In Nigeria, the surge in youth engagement with sports betting has become a notable societal phenomenon. With a burgeoning young population, many Nigerian youths are drawn to the allure of quick financial gains offered by sports betting platforms.

However, the accessibility of these platforms through mobile devices has further fueled the trend, enabling widespread participation among the tech-savvy youth demographic(Alabi,2019). This growing involvement in sports betting is often attributed to a combination of economic factors, including high youth unemployment rates and a desire for alternative income streams. However, the prevalence of sports betting also raises concerns about the potential negative impact on the financial well-being and mental health of the youth, prompting a broader societal discussion on responsible gambling practices and regulatory measures. While sports betting offers the prospect of monetary rewards, it has given rise to social and ethical challenges among Nigerian youth. The allure of quick riches and the pervasive advertising by betting companies contribute to a culture where young individuals see gambling as a means of escaping economic hardship. This trend raises concerns about the potential for addiction and the impact on the overall well-being of the youth population. Additionally, the normalization of sports betting among Nigerian youths has sparked debates about the need for stricter regulations and educational initiatives to promote responsible betting behavior. As stakeholders grapple with these issues, there is a growing recognition that addressing the root socio-economic factors driving youth involvement in sports betting is essential for creating a sustainable and responsible betting environment in Nigeria.These days, one can frequently see shanties made of wood in Nigeria, or businesses with many benches, a television, and a satellite dish. These locations, also referred to as "viewing centres," give sports fans the opportunity to watch league games for typically less than $1. Additionally, the emergence of these viewing centres coincided with the rise in popularity of these matches in the early 2000s, which was prompted by the pervasiveness of ICTs in daily life. These locations are typically crowded with ardent supporters of their chosen teams who are cheering them on while sporting club jerseys on match days. More recently, spectators might be seen clutching a white piece of paper at viewing centres, which was identified as a "ticket," by careful observers. Tickets are printed versions of specific games that have bet placed on them. In Nigeria, sports betting has gained popularity since the end of 2012. The early sports betting companies in Nigeria registered their first foray into the market in 2007, despite the fact that sports betting in Nigeria just recently gained traction (Kazeem, 2015). However, some bettors only depend on chance to win, other factors, like expertise and information about betting strategies, are crucial to winning at betting.

Furthermore, online betting has almost doubled in prevalence between the years 2009 and 2014, while the majority of sports gambling activities have either remained consistent or declined in recent years (Georgiu, 2015). According to Adedola (2020), online betting has shaped social and behavioral norms among Nigerian youths. The normalization of betting activities through online platforms may contribute to a culture where betting is seen as a common and acceptable pastime, potentially diverting attention and resources away from more constructive pursuits. Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to investigate on an examination of the impact of online sports betting on university students in Nigeria

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Sports betting is a popular pastime among university students. As a result, There has been economic upheaval and difficulties, including issues like being in debt, to the extent that some students have resorted to using their tuition fees for gambling without gaining any returns. Excessive betting not only makes them bankrupt and indebted but also predisposes the bettor/gambler to attempts to use money to regain their loss. However, continual betting creates tension, migraines, and poor sleep, all of which have an influence on the social and psychological lives of student. As a result, individuals develop feelings of separation from friends and relatives, and this isolation drives them to skip class, thereby impairing their academic performance.

However, the fact that online betting offers quick and cheap money does not absolve young players of their role as bettors, who survive only on hope. Usually, they are pitiful, impoverished individuals. Thereby causes a wide range of negative effects on one's mental health, marital and family dysfunction, conflict, separation and divorce, domestic violence, debt, loss of productivity at work (absenteeism, loss of employment, and criminal offenses), and debt. Nigeria have about the expenses, repercussions, and possible risks to their internet safety associated with online betting. It is in this light that the study seeks to examine the impact of online sports betting on university students in Nigeria

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is on the examination of the impact of online sports betting on university students in Nigeria: A perspective of sports officers. Specifically, the study will;

  1. Assess the perception of sports officers on the prevalence of online sports betting among university students in Nigeria.

  2. Assess the perception of sports officers on the stimulators of sports betting among university students in Nigeria.

  3. Assess the perception of sports officers on the effect of on university students in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

  1. What is the perception of sports officers regarding the prevalence of online sports betting among university students in Nigeria?

  2. What do sports officers think about the factors that stimulate sports betting among university students in Nigeria?

  3. How do sports officers perceive the effects of sports betting on university students in Nigeria?

1.5 Significant of the Study

Examination of the impact of online sports betting on university students in Nigeria will be revealed to the government at various levels, sports officers, policy makers, parents and guardians, stakeholders, psychologists,, media houses, sport bets owners, and youths in this study. It will additionally help psychologist to intensify their efforts to organize seminars/conferences on the implications of online sports betting on youths’ behaviour and general well-being.

Furthermore, it will enlighten parents and guardians on the significance of continued parenting on youths. However, the findings will allow sports officers to address potential challenges, such as academic distractions, financial troubles, and potential addiction, and implement strategies to support the well-rounded development of university students.

Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the examination of the impact of online sports betting on university students in Nigeria

1.6 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on an examination of the impact of online sports betting on university students in Nigeria. Theoretically, this study will assess the perception of sports officers on the prevalence of online sports betting among university students in Nigeria, assess the perception of sports officers on the stimulators of sports betting among university students in Nigeria and assess the perception of sports officers on the effect of on university students in Nigeria.

1.7 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

1.8 Definition of Terms

Betting: an activity that involves any betting or wagering, for self or others, whether for money or not, no matter how slight or insignificant, where the outcome is uncertain or depends on chance or skill (Gamblers Anonymous, 2020; McCormick & Cohen, 2017)

Youth: a period of transition from the dependence of childhood to adulthood's independence. A person between age 18- 40 years.



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