The Gambian Government is Being Urged to Address the Harm That Gambling Causes

It is critical to note that despite the reality that betting on sports is deemed to be legitimate in The Gambia, the practice has already begun to elevate menace in society. This is because a huge proportion of the country’s male youths are deeply immersed in sports gambling. 

However, many people have the viewpoint that the government should institute some sort of control mechanism so that young people, particularly school-aged children, will stop putting their lives in jeopardy daily in the vain hope of obtaining a livelihood through the widespread practice of sports gambling in the country. 

How online gambling has become increasingly noticeable and more defined in almost every road found in the Greater Banjul Area as well as in other regions must be a major element in the situation, and it should be a worrying concern as well. In 2015, The Gambia decided to outlaw all types of gambling, including lotto, casinos, and wagering on sports. 

This was because, based on the previous government, Gambian culture is constructed on the fundamentals of encouraging positive social standards such as thriftiness and honesty rather than negative social values such as gambling and greed. It went on to say that it is the responsibility of the government of the Gambia to protect and advance the general welfare of the country’s inhabitants, as stated in the previous paragraph. 

In a discussion with this publication, a taxi driver named Saihou Jobe stated that for the authorities to safeguard the country’s future leaders and ensure a better fate for The Gambia in the decades to come, it would be necessary for the government to prohibit the youthful demographic from participating in such endeavors and then put in place appropriate and discouraging measures. 

According to him, if immediate action is not taken to assist in resolving this “cooking dilemma,” then the nation’s future will be forced to pay a significant price for this mistake. He went on to say that if the problem is not fixed, the youth of the country, who are considered to be the country’s future leaders, will be rendered unnecessary because betting on sports and other forms of gambling could destroy the framework of “our ethical and social advancement.” 

To further emphasize his point, he stated that wagering on sports can cause significant harm and discontentment against one’s self as well as against societal structure. He went on to note that there have been numerous cases all over the world in which young men are becoming disheartened and violent to the point where they attempted suicide as a result of losing a wager. 

He explained that one of the problems that come with having a gambling addiction is that it can lead a person to participate in illicit behavior such as thievery, which is not only illegal but also against the law. 

Musa Jallow disclosed to this channel that there were times when he would gamble with other people’s wealth in the hope of coming out on top, but in the end, the outcome would not be to his satisfaction. “The authority should step in to help develop a comprehensive mechanism to discourage the attention and sluggishness of youngsters induced by sports betting. This would be a great way for the government to get involved.” 

He admitted that he had once made the mistake of investing his brother’s money, which he had been tasked with depositing at the bank. This led to several issues in his life, including the fact that he was evicted from his brother’s home because he had used D7000 of his brother’s cash to place a bet. 

A Critical Qualitative Investigation Into Gamblers’ Preconceptions of Their Accountability

Gambling is a problem for public health because it has the potential to cause major harm to people as well as to the family members and communities in which they live. Gambling can lead to a variety of negative outcomes, some of which include conflict within the family, anxiety and other mental illnesses, joblessness, suicidality, and abuse towards intimate partners. There is growing evidence to suggest that people may suffer harm across a spectrum of gambling behaviors.

For instance, the majority of gamblers who encountered negative consequences from their behavior weren’t considered to be high-risk or gambling addicts. According to the findings of the study, 6.1% of the adult population was negatively affected as a result of the problem gambling of another individual. This illustrates that recognition of the harmful effects of wagering should not be limited to those who encounter problems or gambling addiction because it can hurt anyone who gambles. 

Gambling has historically been introduced as a problem linked to individual obligation and independent decision, with narratives from government agencies and the gambling business concentrating on the “responsible gambling” framework of harm minimization. In this paradigm, gamblers are encouraged to gamble in a way that minimizes the negative effects of their behavior.

These conceptual frameworks present gamblers as logical decision-makers who are capable of making educated decisions based on knowledge concerning safer gambling behaviors, and they shape gambling as a leisure form of entertainment. It has been said that these kinds of personal responsibility frameworks are “overly simplistic,” and that they ignore the power imbalance that exists between people authorities, and the gambling sector.

The dominant focus on safer gambling frameworks generates an impression that gambling brands are primarily uncontentious, and that any harmful effects that could be affiliated with gambling are exemplary and can be minimized. This is true even though personal responsibility is a crucial component of the prevention of gambling-related harm. Not only does this place the spotlight on people who gamble, but it also draws attention away from the role that the casino industry plays in developing and supporting gambling, as well as the role that the government plays in adequately regulating the operations of the gambling market. 

Researchers have also contended that industries producing unhealthy commodities use individual responsibility structures to minimize the role that they play in the manufacturing of damage. Individual responsibility concepts equate the decision to participate in certain behaviors with the approval of responsibility for any damage that may be encountered. These paradigms do this by positioning individuals within the context of informed people who are free to make their own decisions regarding their health behaviors.

The creation of the perceived notion that there are “good” and “bad” methods that individuals can consume or participate in with products that might be harmful to their health is one of the ways that this form of framing has helped contribute to the moralizing of health behaviors. When viewed through this lens, the occurrence of negative outcomes reflects a lack of integrity on the part of the decision-maker, which obscures the myriad of other factors that might contribute to the dangers associated with gambling. 

Summary of Findings

This study shows that gamblers’ preconceptions of the harm caused by gambling are comparable to the individual responsibility contexts and archetypes that are prevalent in the communication strategies utilized by the government and industry. A significant step toward mitigating the negative effects of gambling will be to shift the emphasis of public education campaigns away from messages advocating “responsible gambling” and toward methods that are supported by empirical research.