Betting Companies And The Question Of Social Responsibility




Online betting is a growing trend in Nigeria and more betting companies are setting up shop in Africa’s most populous country.

As at the last count, there are well over thirty five (35) betting companies operating legally in the country. Nigeria is a country of enormous population and most Nigerians have a burning passion for sports, especially football, which is widely considered the national sport.

The combination of these two factors makes the West African country a prime investment destination for online betting companies.

From the available data, the existing betting sites are making tons of money from Nigerians and more companies are queuing up for licenses to get into the online gaming business in a bid to get their own share of the lucrative market.

Generally, betting companies operate via a similar template. They look to entice new customers with their different welcome bonus offers, along with the promise of other freebies after the customer has signed up.

Bookmakers are very in-your-face with their betting features; encouraging users to deposit money into their betting accounts in exchange for online betting entertainment and the prospect of landing a big pay day.

The chances of a potential big win makes it easy for betting companies to win over more customers willing to part with more than they can afford. This means more money for gaming operators.

However, despite the financial success of these companies, many are of the opinion that they have done little in terms of reinvesting parts of their proceeds into worthy causes like charity or any other form of Corporate social responsibility (CSR).

In other parts of the world, betting companies are known to regularly invest in charitable causes. In the United Kingdom, over 600 betting firms donated a sum of £34.7m in March 2021 to combat the harm inherent in online gambling.

In 2017, a sum of $367 was reportedly donated to charities by different casino operators in the United States.

In Ghana, a betting company recently partnered and donated ICT equipment to the Gaming Commission of Ghana to curb sports betting addiction in the country.

With the examples of betting companies committing to and actually going through with helping charities in the UK and the US, the question is can the same be said of betting companies operating in Nigeria?

Aside from the regular promotions for players on the respective online platforms of the different betting sites. Bookmakers rarely give back to the community or their customers.

In the light of the current reality, there is no denying that betting companies operating in Nigeria should be alive to social responsibilities as obtained in other parts of the world.

A concerted effort from all the players involved in the betting industry, especially the government, to ensure that online betting organizations become socially responsible.

The government, through the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) should work towards legislation to compel operators in the gambling industry to be socially responsible.

Perhaps the Nigerian government can draw inspiration from the United Kingdom, where there is a thriving online betting industry with socially responsible betting companies.

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