Sports Betting Destroying African Men, Claims Ugandan Blogger


A prominent Ugandan blogger, Charles Onyango-Obbo, has claimed that football betting in Africa is now one of the leading causes of poverty and break-ups in marriages and relationships across the continent.


The sports betting industry has made huge inroads in Africa, including Zimbabwe, being driven by the rising popularity of the European leagues, especially the English Premiership.


Posting on the social media site, X, formerly known as Twitter, Onyango-Obbo claimed the African gambling market was worth a staggering US$37 billion in 2022. He wrote:

It has its critics, but the growth of the European football leagues, especially the English Premier League, in Africa in the last 30 years has been nothing short of dizzying.

In years to come, those who study the impact of sports will likely find that the legacy of the popularity of these leagues is the more dramatic – and harmful – emergence of sports betting.

Sports betting firms have monetised the football craze in devilishly genius ways. Of the $37 billion African gambling economy in 2022, sports betting accounted for the lion’s share.

Varying by country, between 30% and 70% of the population of adult Africans are involved in sports betting.

Addiction levels are high, and critics say sports betting is among the leading causes of poverty, and marriage/relationship break-ups in Africa today.

Because far more men than women gamble, sports betting has a gender face, hitting males disproportionately.

Onyango-Obbo warned that in the next five to ten years, “we could be reading that sports betting was the reason Africa lost the 2020s – and what sealed the decline of the African man.”