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Sports betting major factor affecting school attendance – BPI research

Sports betting major factor affecting school attendance – BPI research

Sports betting major factor affecting school attendance – BPI research

• Dr Adam Yunus speaking at the event Photo: Godwin Ofosu-Achampong

• Dr Adam Yunus

Sports betting has been identified as a major factor affecting school attendance in Ghana, a report from the Baraka Policy Institute (BPI) has revealed.

According to the report, the 500 metres proximity barrier stated in the Gaming Commission Act 721 of 2006 was being infringed upon by the numerous gambling companies.

The Act 721 also known as the Gaming Commission Act of 2006 was created to re­vise and consolidate the laws relating to ca­sinos and other gaming activities other than lottery, and to provide generally for ancillary matters concerning the gaming industry

The report was conducted in 2019 during the AFCON period with 360 participants from Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale.

The research report titled “The preva­lence of sports betting and its effects on education and child development in Ghana” was launched in Accra yesterday.

Presenting the report, the Head of Re­search for BPI, Dr Adam Yunus, revealed that persons below 18 years were falling victim to the enticing advertisements from the betting companies.

“Due to the digital media, betting has become easily accessible to children. All you need is a phone to visit the websites of the gambling companies,” he explained.

The BPI researcher also revealed that sports betting centres within some low-in­come communities like Madina, Mamobi, Jamestown and Ashaiman were increasing at an alarming rate.

He queried “if it was a conspiracy by the gaming companies to impoverish the vulnerable persons in those society because you won’t find the same number of betting centres in the high-income societies like East Legon.”

The researcher hinted that “lack of parental control and responsibility, weak regulations and enforcement, unmeasured advertisements, exploitation of the love for the game and the get rich quick syndrome,” were responsible for the rise of sports bet­ting among the youth.

On solutions to tackle the problem, Dr Yunus proposed “a stronger campaign by religious authorities including civil society, legislative reforms directed at protecting the vulnerable and stiffer regulations and com­pliance on sports betting to protect children and young people.”

He appealed to the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service to formu­late sustainable measures to deal with the negative effect of sports betting on the education of children saying that “we need to deal with sports betting effects on child development now.”

Story by Fada Amakye from Daily Sun Media and Top radio

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