HomeNewsGambling : The Slippery Slope from Recreation to Addiction

Gambling : The Slippery Slope from Recreation to Addiction

Gambling is a pastime for most people and truth be told, it is designed as a form of entertainment.  Big winners are celebrated as a testimony that truly one can win big. They are publicised in the media, treated in a once-in-a-lifetime experience, flying in a private jet and lodging them and their friends in a 5-star hotel.

For a few days, they lived a life of luxury and splendour. Fuseini from Ghana won $500,000, the biggest Aviator win in Africa last year on Betpawa, one of Africa’s leading sports betting platforms. To celebrate the occasion, Fuseini was flown in a private jet with family and friends to watch a football match and a press conference was held where he was presented with a cheque of $500,000.

George Fenteh won $6.7 million was the largest jackpot ever in the history of the lottery in Baltimore, in the United States of America at that time. He immediately went on a shopping spree, first quitting his job as a factory worker, buying a new Porch convertible, a Rolex Wristwatch and a Mansion worth $2 million and taking his immediate family on a trip worldwide. He eventually lost every penny and later acknowledged “They gave me enough money to get me into trouble, not enough to make me rich”.

George became a big gambler and an alcoholic, he squandered all the money he made on gambling, booze and women. Today, he lives in a one-room apartment alone, of course, his wife filed for divorce accusing George of constantly beating her anytime he comes home drunk.

Gaming companies will always celebrate the big wins to lure more people just as they did to Fuseini.  Betting gives people false hope especially the jobless. Korede Akinola was without a job having lost his job as a cashier in one of the banks in Nigeria and he needs money to pay his son’s school fees. Korede was introduced to betting by a friend and after his first attempt, he won a little money.

The need for more urgent cash glued him to the game with the hope that luck would shine on him the second time. He won again and he did not only pay his son’s school fees, he was able to offset his house rent which is already due for payment. However, Korede became addicted to gambling to the extent that he sold virtually everything in his house to make money to gamble. Today, he lives a miserable and pathetic life, having lost his home, family and friends.

Clinical psychologists have stated that betting could lead to gambling addiction and a mental disorder called compulsive gambling. Compulsive gambling involves repeated uncontrollable gambling despite losing money and suffering negative consequences. The mental disorder can significantly impact a person’s life, relationships and overall well-being. This is because betting stimulates the brain’s reward system much like drugs or alcohol can, leading to addiction.

John Bamidele
John Bamidele
John Bamidele is a gaming consultant in Africa, a content writer and a communication expert. He has been a journalist for two decades and an editor.

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