With Nigerians reportedly spending a whopping ₦730 billion ($1,991,814.42) annually — ₦2 billion ($5,457.03) daily — on sports betting, revenue generation is sure to be a concern for sports betting companies with most sporting activities suspended in the wake of the outbreak and spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
While on the flip side of the coin you have the regular bettors, who have no doubt been affected by the enforced sports break, some non-betting sports enthusiasts have had to deal with the absence of weekly sporting activities.
Empty football stadium
In a chat with Techpoint, Greg (not real name) reveals that upon hearing news of the suspension of events, he was sad because he would not get to watch football for weeks.
“It’s been just two weeks so I’m fine; I don’t know what will happen if it extends till May,” he adds.
Leonard (not real name) who bets on just football having tried ice hockey, volleyball, basketball, and tennis in the past says, “It was a good idea to suspend sporting events because prevention is better than cure; it is better to be able to manage the outbreak than allow it to spread during sports.”
Suggested Read: The philosophy of the Nigerian online bettor
In a lighthearted attempt to deal with the absence of weekend football, an ardent fan took to Twitter to express his fears that he felt his team was trailing though no matches were being played.
Day 2 without football, every club fan isnt scared their team would lose a match or conceed a goal.
But deep down in my mind, i feel Milan is already trailing somewhere.
— Stan (@Femi_MartinsOG) March 15, 2020
Though Greg misses the games and the rush that comes with knowing that what unfolds on his TV screen plays a big part in what becomes of his bets, he says, “I just carry on with my normal life but I kinda miss it to be honest.”
Echoing Greg’s sentiments, Leonard insists betting is nothing but fun for him while clearly stating that he is not addicted.
“It is not an addiction so I move on with my life — I play football and immerse myself in my work.”
Concluding our chat, Greg reveals that a certain Nigerian betting website has encouraged some bettors to try out virtual betting until the suspensions are lifted.
“There’s this thing called a virtual bet. It’s like the normal leagues we have but everything is virtual. A popular betting site has been asking some bettors to use it but I won’t because it’s way out of my control; I’ll wait until the real ones resume.”
Hi, my name is Precious Mogoli and beyond sports betting, the love of sports, and the huge revenue generated globally, I have a message of hope for humanity: if we all take the right steps to stay safe, COVID-19 will be contained.
Do your part; act responsibly.
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Sub Editor at Techpoint Africa