Today, I have had a discussion with two men about gambling, circumstances were unrelated.
One was my elder brother. He told me he often makes money. I asked him, how much he makes versus how much he “invests”.
“I always lose more, but WHEN I EARN, I MAKE A KILLING,” he explained. He is clearly addicted and talking him out of it is not easy.
This evening, my Taxify driver also engaged me in small world cup talk, confessing, “I am not that much of a football fan, but for betting.”
I asked him the same question. With a certain guilty hesitance, he gave an answer I am all too familiar: He loses more than he earns, but “pia nikipata, napata mob sana”.
His brother yesterday won Sh 16,000 and paid rent for two months. You can imagine having to rely on gambling for rent.
A study revealed that Kenyans spend as much as Sh 5,000 monthly on sports betting. There is a Casino I usually frequent to use their restaurant. On ground floor are betting stations. That focus in some nondescript games even Albanian league. I always see most young men there, mostly boda boda guys in there trying their luck.
Every day in a matatu, every second young man is on a betting up or site. There is one betting firm that has even opened betting “cybercafes” across the city and visit it and so many young men want to try their luck on the MEGA JACKPOT.
We always dismiss our high school maths, but you were thought Probability in high school. Sports betting is all about probability. Aillion young men are constantly giving out their Sh 100 and only a paltry quarter get any reward back.
That is why one sports betting mogul sws in cash, driving top of the range cars because a fool and his money are soon parted.
I learned how evil gambling is reading one of Mario Puzo’s books that explaining how machines in Las Vegas are tuned in such a way the house always wins hence the famous phrase, ‘The house never loses”.
A few years ago, I read in the Bloomberg magazine a very detailed investigative report on match fixing in Germany’s third league. The report detailed other evil aspects of match fixing, the Singaporean betting savants who have inflitrated sports to the highest echelons, such that I rarely trust even the Premier League.
A decade ago, we saw the Italian football scandal.
But people who bet don’t read Mario Puzo, won’t touch a Bloomberg magazine or rarely care about the Italian scandal.
It is sad.