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16 May 2018

Bet shops increase in FCT as idle youths throng outlets

The number of bet outlets in the Federal Capital Territory has increased as more youths and idle men engaged in gambling for free money.

Checks revealed that many bet shops have sprung up in different parts of Abuja, including Wuse, Utako, Garki and Jabi.

Many others are also at the point of opening to the public in the satellite towns where thousands of jobless youths reside.

Findings by Northern City News indicated that many youths were becoming addicted to gambling with some of them spending their daily earnings on bets in the hope of hitting the jackpot.

Our correspondent who visited a bet shop at Utako, Abuja on Tuesday, observed many able-bodied men playing the casino and other virtual games.

Those who were not betting spent their time watching a football match on television and arguing over their favourite club players.

A worker with a transport company, who would not identify himself, played the online game for about 15 minutes during which he lost N1,500.

He however became irritated when asked if he was gambling for money or for leisure.

“Does it look like am playing here? You are lucky that today is a cool day, if you had come on days when crazy people are here, they would have slapped you for asking these endless questions,” he told our correspondent with a hint of menace.

He blamed President Muhammadu Buhari for his hard luck, adding that he was gambling because his salary was not enough to meet his needs.

“I blame Buhari for what is happening; Would I be playing this game if my salary was adequate for me? Nigeria is sick, only God can restore it, we are just wasting time if we don’t seek divine intervention,” he said as he kept hitting the keyboard, losing game credits as he thumbed the keys.

His colleague, who identified himself as Samuel Uba, explained that God had just weaned him of gambling addiction, stressing that he would never play the games again.

He stated that he was addicted to the games for months and was playing almost daily, adding that his highest win was N36,000.

Samuel added, “I’m grateful to God for delivering me from addiction to gambling. I used to play the games six times a week and the highest amount I won was N36,000, but I can’t quantify the amount I lost to gambling. So, I can never play the games again.”

A cashier at the outlet, Philip, disclosed that the shop records high traffic of gamblers daily, adding that the number of bets outlets had increased in the FCT with the outlet having about 10 outlets across the city.

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