A Critical Assessment of Online Sports Betting/Gambling and its dire Consequences on the Ghanaian Youth

The surge in the online sports betting industry requires laws, regulations, structures and standards to streamline their activities. In 2006, the Gaming Commission was step-up to make this a thriving industry. The Commission hinged on Gaming Act, 721 to oversee activities of games of chance. Today, sports betting is causing depression, poor general coping skills, anxiety criminal, decreased academic performance, increased disruption of familial relationships, delinquent and anti-social behaviour such as youth resorting to stealing and loan advancement. If not managed properly, online sports betting can lead to suicide ideation and actual suicide attempts. This study provides a critical assessment of the consequences of online sports betting/gambling on the Ghanaian youth. The study adopted a quantitative research approach for achieving the research objectives. Two theories were used to support the study. The collection of data was based on a self-administered questionnaire from the one hundred and forty-eight soccer gambling youth of Greater Accra Region who participated in the study (males 79, females 69) and the convenience sampling method was utilized in this study. The results from the study showed that there was a significant difference between males and females who experience adverse consequences after soccer gambling, however, there was no significant difference between the soccer gambling youth of Greater Accra Region who endorse cognitive distortions and those who did not. Also, there was also no significant difference between soccer gambling youths who experienced financial problems and youths who do not experience financial problems. Policies should be formulated to ensure that soccer gambling companies are mandated by law to establish and fund at least one gambling help centre in each region that will provide information to individuals and also to provide support to gamblers who are experiencing adverse consequences as the result of their gambling behaviour.