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City of Banjul
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Stemming the tide of gambling and spot betting

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Everywhere around the urban areas is now infested with gambling and spot betting places. It has become a bothering reality that we cannot avoid. Gambling has always been considered a vice, which should be caged and confined with proper rational and ethical behaviour. One of the fastest ways to disintegrate a society is giving free rein to gambling and its related menaces. When a person spends his whole earning and time in casinos and spot betting centres then it won’t be long till his family and societal life begins to suffer considerably.

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The sad part is with the rise of spot betting centres, young people, especially students spend their lunch break money gambling. Eventually this will begin affecting their performance and attendance in school. This will lead to drop out cases and mass illiteracy, ultimately leading to the birth of a whole lot of vices and menaces in society. So the harm of these things should not be underestimated and neglected; for it will eventually start haunting our society and its realities and aftermath are too dangerous to be left like that without being taken care of be ignored.

 

In the past the government had tried to stop the gambling practice mostly by young people in schools and street corners. That was good and timely but now that it has taken a virulent rebirth, there should be even more concerted effort to stem the tide of this iniquity. The authorities have to make sure this problem doesn’t go viral and thus growing out of proportion, thereby making it one of those many hazardous habits that have taken hold of our young population.

 

A cornerstone of the Qur’anic injunctions that deal with the forbidden and unlawful, is the condemnation of gambling. God unequivocally state in His holy book: “They ask you about wine and gambling. Say: ‘In them both lies grave sin, though some benefit, to mankind. But their sin is graver than their benefit.” Considering that most of the Gambian populace are believers in one of the two main monotheistic Abraham religious traditions, which both condemn the indulgence of the believers into the sinful vice of gambling, should make it the more important to step up to the call to eradicate its spreading virus in the society.

 

More important is the consideration that the young population is heirs to the society that will be left behind in the future. Contemplating this fact alone should engender in us all concern and a deep sense of responsibility for those young ones who are slowly but surely drifting towards a dark path whose beginning is staying away from school and spending most of their precious time and money on this frivolous activity, ending most likely with a crime filled and ignorant generation. Passing down to posterity a society infested with gamblers and school dropouts will be the greatest betrayal as precursors and forerunners. 

 

Saving our young ones and by extension all and sundry is not only a religious or pious activity but a societal responsibility that all must embark upon to build a society rooted in ethical and moral behavior. Stopping the rise of gambling and spot betting centers or better still circumscribing them within their proper bounds becomes ever more imperative if we are to leave behind a society worthy of inheritance by the generations yet unborn.

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