Home » Experts Differ On Sports Betting As Unconventional Solution To Youth Unemployment

Experts Differ On Sports Betting As Unconventional Solution To Youth Unemployment

Two Nigerian experts, a founding employee of Bet9ja, Adekunle Adeniji and renowned business anchor, Boason Omofaye, have expressed opposing views on whether the growth of the sports betting industry could be a solution to drive taxation revenue as well as boost the jobs market.

For Adekunle Adeniji, the i-gaming industry has made its mark when it comes to employment opportunities, solving Nigeria’s unemployment problem.

According to him, a significant number of youths are already taking advantage of the industry in positive ways with thousands of youths gainfully employed either directly and indirectly.

“I think the industry which we call the i-gaming industry, has made its mark when it comes to employment opportunities. In Bet9ja for instance, it employs 1000 – 3500 staff directly and about 30,000- 50,000 staff indirectly. So we are definitely solving the unemployment problem gradually, considering the fact that it’s still a budding industry. Another aspect that cannot be overlooked is the effort to develop local software products to promote local supply which, once achieved will result in 80% of the revenue generation in the industry locally.

To encourage more youth to see opportunities in the industry, Adeniji said rather than referring to sports betting as gambling, people should start seeing it as trading in sports just like crypto currency market.

“I don’t like when people refer to it as gambling, I would rather it were seen as trading in sports, which is similar to what happens in the crypto currency market. In sports trading, I look at the team I want to put my money on and consider various factors like, an injured player, etc. Then, I put my money in the sports trade, based on my observations and predictions. There needs to be more education, as opposed to labelling sports traders as gamblers,” Adeniji spoke to SportsBoom.com.

Mr Boason Omofaye, who also spoke in an interview with SportsBoom.com, did not agree with Adeniji’s position, instead, he believed the sports betting industry is recycled armed robbery, saying Nigeria need to find a way to ensure that its teeming youth are meaningfully engaged rather than looking for a small amount of money to go engage in sports betting, hoping that they will make more money.

“Where is the sense of dignity of labour? Can we really stand up in the committee of nations and say that we have a population of youth that can lead this country forward through sports betting?

“Sustainability of wealth comes from capital market investment, from companies going to the capital market, from people creating wealth. How do you create wealth through sports betting?

“How do we descend to such a level In which some government officials will begin to promote sports betting as a way of job creation in their environment? It’s appalling to put it mildly. Take a look at inflation! We’re talking about food inflation at 40% in a country that has one of the highest levels of arable land on planet earth, not just in Africa.”

“Nigeria is a developing country In which poverty is endemic. If I have a job as a broadcaster and I’m paying my payee the personal income tax to the government and I’m paying Value Added Tax (VAT) on my consumption every day, I’m contributing to the revenue In every way possible. Hence, I’m creating wealth. We’ve got an army of youths looking to make basic ends meet trying out sports betting. That is a poverty-induced betting culture,” Omofaye said.

While offering unconventional employment opportunities, Nigeria’s budding sports betting industry sparks contrasting views on its viability as a solution to youth unemployment as expressed by Adeniji and Omofaye while speaking on SportsBoom.com.