Sports Betting and Depression among Youths in the SouthSouth Region of Nigeria
BACKGROUND: It has been noted that those addicted to gambling are at a high risk of developing mental health problems such as depression.
AIMS: This study was designed to determine the effect of participating in sports betting on depression of young people in Nigeria.
METHODS: This study adopted a cross-sectional respondent-driven approach to study 286 youths who have engaged in sports betting in Nigeria, using Yenagoa city in Bayelsa State as a case study from September to November 2020. Primary data for this study was sourced mainly through the use of a questionnaire, while data collected from the field was analysed using descriptive and bivariate statistics.
RESULTS: Findings from the study indicated that the mean age of the respondents was 23 years. Also, the two main types of sports betting were live football and virtual football matches. The study again, revealed that majority of the respondents patronised Betking and Bet9ja as their major sports betting centre. It was also found that there is a significant association between sport betting and depression among youths (X2 = 71.188); estimated amount placed per gamble and depression (X2 = 168.338); length of time of engagement in sport betting and depression (X2 = 165.553); number of time engaged in sport betting per month and depression (X2 = 41.875); football leagues bet on and depression (X2 = 41.223); device used in sports betting and depression (X2 = 71.188); and gambling firms used and depression (X2 = 71.188).
CONCLUSIONS: The study concluded that there is a need for proper sensitisation of youths on the best practices of engaging in sports betting, while more emphasis is laid on initiating youth empowerment programmes in the South-South region.