The recent attack on Sports globally by the coronavirus which has led to postponement and cancellations of several Sport events has not spared the sport betting sector.
Sport betting has been hit hard as stakeholders in the industry are beginning to count their losses due to low patronage in the business.
In a visit to some betting houses in Surulere, Lagos on Saturday March 21, it was observed that some of the cashiers who were used to sitting up and attending to several customers were relaxing and idling away.
A staff of a popular Bet9ja outlet in one of the visited areas who spoke on grounds of anonymity described the attack of coronavirus on sport betting business as a big blow.
“It’s very tough” she started, “On a typical Saturday like this I know what we go through here as people come in and out with different odds seeking your attention to play their staked games for them”.
“In fact, some of my customers collect my phone contact and account numbers send me games and even transfer monies into my account for them to enable them meet-up”, “But now it is not same”.
“Since the suspension of major football leagues in the world, and other sports events, business have gone really bad” she added.
When asked if the trend continues for another 3 months if she will remain with Bet9ja, her reply was a bit interesting.
“I don’t know, I am only a staff and looking at the situation, there might be a pay-cut or temporal close of the business, but that will depend on management” she concluded.
However, our intelligence unit also found out that there were still some young men who fixed to the monitor in one or two outlets playing the popular “Baby Oku” (dog and horse race), as well as the computerized version of the premier and laliga leagues.
Efforts made to find out if the animal races and computerized version of the premier leagues were there main games before the hit of the coronavirus and their responses differed.
For one who described himself as Femi, he said he plays the duo of normal football and animal races before coronavirus strucked, and since major leagues have been suspended he has to settle for only the animal race.
Another who was more elderly but preferred to talk on grounds of anonymity, said he was a new convert to the computerized version of the major leagues, and is looking forward to record a breakthrough in it during this period of coronavirus attack on sports bet.
Unfortunately, while the ultimate beneficiaries in the sports bet sector are the various outlets where sports betting take place. Sport betting has given “lifeless-hope” to a good number of Nigerians who patronize it and strongly sees it as a means to acquire wealth.
Perhaps, the coronavirus will serve as an opportunity for some youths to have a sober reflection and ponder on what the future holds for them with Sport bet, as the epidemic may lead to some shifting attention from it afterwards.