As the FIFA World Cup is proceeding, the betting fever skyrockets even in the most hidden corners of the world. 🙂
I took this picture on the main street of a Tanzanian village a couple of days ago – this how a typical “high street betting shop” looks in Tanzania nowadays.
These football betting offices are often combined with a tent that hosts a pool table, where the local youth can not only play pool but place bets on the winners. They use simple odds and very small amounts (=hundreds of shillings only), but still, it’s a very unique form of sports betting!
Also, the fact that such sports betting facilities flourish in East African rural areas, reveals that betting is in deed a fundamental human need (as a combination of participation, leisure, identity and freedom), and shouldn’t be neglected by the legislators.
It’s healthy to have fun, and sports betting provides people with excitement and adrenaline, just like any other game. However, if it leads to an addiction, it can be a very big problem for society.
What such places need though, is the control over the “minimum gambling age”, the official regulation of responsible gaming: who is allowed to enter these wagering premises, and who is not. Even though, in small communities, this regulation settles itself, as people know each other, and care about each other. This would rarely be possible in a big city like Dar es Salaam, where betting shops are a danger for young people.
What does a local betting shop look like in the place where you live? Feel free to post links to your own photos in the comments!