Thursday, November 30, 2023

Sports betting and gambling banned in Ghanaian university

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Ibrahim Alhassan
Ibrahim Alhassan
Ibrahim Alhassan is a Ghanaian journalist who focuses on political reporting in Africa.

Authorities at a public University in Ghana, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, (KNUST) have placed a ban on sports betting and gambling on campus.

The decision according to management of the institution is to ensure that students concentrate on their studies without distractions.

The decision was taken by the academic board after noticing a decline in performance of students attributed to betting and gambling activities.

The University authorities have warned students found engaging in the practice will be rusticated for a year.

The move is to ensure strict compliance with the directive. The University has consequently taken a decision not to accept sponsorship or donation from gambling and sports betting companies.

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According to a source the institution has taken additional measures to ensure compliance.

The institution’s “University Information Technology Service (UITS) has been instructed to block all betting websites from the University’s WIFI accessible to all students.”

Students unhappy with ban

When Africa Feeds contacted the president of the Students’ Representative Council, (SRC) of KNUST, Kelvin Saah, he disclosed that the directive has come to his attention.

According to him the students’ body will convene a meeting on the matter for appropriate response.

Some students have however kicked against the directive arguing it smacks of high handedness.

“Well to me I think it’s not important because there are much important issues that are going on in the school that the school authorities need to address than this. How on earth does someone betting harm anyone?” one student asked when he spoke to Africa Feeds.

Another student said “It has to do with moral values and when you talk about morality then you should ban any other thing that is immoral. It is not only betting that is the immoral act in the school, then you should ban fornication too. But someone betting who is not harming anyone, he’s decided not to steal, he decided not to become a scammer, and it’s just betting which is going on in every other country.”

“I know someone who basically lives on this every day. There’s an attempt by the school (to ban betting) but it’s not enough so you block it on the WIFI site but what if I get my own bundle and do it (betting) myself? What’s the sense? School is struggling with hostel issues, accommodation issues; these are the things that the school must be dealing with not on petty stuff like this. To me it’s not important; it’s a waste of time and doesn’t make sense to me.” One student told Africa Feeds.

Support for the ban

There are however other students who are in support of the move by the University to ban betting and gambling.

Sports betting has in recent times gained grounds Ghana especially among the youth.

This has resulted in almost every big sports betting company opening outlets in not just Accra and other capital cities but smaller towns as well.

One could count not less than 10 betting outlets on a 2 kilometer stretch on the Nima-Mamobi highway in the country’s capital Accra.

Although there’s a regulation for minors under 18 and pupils in school uniforms not to be admitted to these betting centers, the story is different.

It is a common sight to see groups of young men massed up at these centers watching football matches from the local league to the English Premier League, Championship, La Liga, UEFA Champions League among others not just for the love of the game but because of their investments by way of betting.

Many opinion leaders have expressed concerns about the development arguing it breeds laziness among the youth who should be searching for regular jobs.




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