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Bettors stake money or other items on a game of chance aiming to win a fortune. For those who are lucky, betting has offered them a means of surviving the harsh economic climate in the country.

The Vortex correspondent, Manasseh F. Paul-Worika speaks with Mr. Okon Edidiong an automobile engineer from Abak in Akwa Ibom State. Edidiong, on his experience with sports betting.

What’s your view on Sports betting?

I believe it’s a game of chance that offers individuals an opportunity to survive when times are hard. Beyond the game, betting is one way of providing an alternative means of income to people who have huge responsibilities with low income. It’s simply an investment like Forex trading and the likes.

How long have you been in the game?

 I started betting in 2015. It was with Nairabet but I never won so I decided to try other options I believed could favor me.

Which betting outfit is the best for you?

I’ve tried Nairabet, Winners Golden Bet and Access Bet. The best for me is Bet9ja. Bet9ja offers many options to choose from. It’s easier to win with Bet9ja because the options provided are so comfortable that one wouldn’t need to struggle to win. The bonus on winnings are enormous and attractive, reason you find people trooping in to Bet9ja shops anywhere they are located. Bet9ja is accessible and close to customers. In a street, for instance, you can find two or more Bet9ja shops strategically positioned to serve customers. And there’s no delay in paying a winning. Bet9ja wins it for me.

Have you won on any bet?

Severally! Most recent of my winning came two weeks ago when I won two slips #15,000 and #27,000 with just #200. I can’t count how many times I’ve emerged victorious but I know God has been on my side.

How has Betting helped you?

In July 2019, my house rent was due and I tried every way I could to raise the money #150,000. A week to the end of my quit notice, I got 5 correct predictions in my dream which I believe came from God. I woke up the next morning, wrote out the games and prediction and staked it with #300. I was praying in the shop that day when somebody told me that the last team in my ticket won their match. I was startled because I couldn’t believe that my fortune had adjusted. I won exactly #150,000 needed for my house rent and I was saved from that embarrassing situation. This is no story, it happened live. There were other times when business wasn’t working, I resorted in staking games and I emerged victorious. Betting has helped me in ways I can’t begin to expain.

Has it been always winning for you?

Like I said earlier, it’s a game of chance. There are uncertainties in the game. There are times I’ve lost heavily and fell sick as a result. I remember on one occasion, I lost a ticket worth #10million to just one match. I took ill for almost a month because I knew what that amount would have done for me, my business and family. It hasn’t been always winning; I’ve lost on several occasions too.

How do you manage gambling as a Christian?

I try as much as I can to create a limit and not let gambling affect my spiritual life and relationship with God. I can’t be in a bet shop when it’s time for church service or fellowship. I don’t place betting above God and that’s what has helped me. Each time I win, I pay my tithe, give offerings and contribute to church projects. I don’t use winnings for any illegal, immoral or fraudulent activity.

Effects of betting?

Everything has both good and bad side. I know it has the negative effect of being addictive, brain draining and depressing especially when you lose. Some persons even starve just to play a slip and that’s bad in all totality. We’ve heard of people who committed suicide because they lost a game. My advice to people has always been for them to take the game as fun and not a full time job.

How can you get the best from betting?

It isn’t difficult as it appears. It only requires a lot of brain work and analytical ability. To get the best, you have to be a high staker. It’s easier to win when you stake high. It’s only on few occasions you find low stakers win huge amounts. Sometimes I laugh when I see some people who want to win #20million with just #100. It is easier to win that amount with #5000 or #10,000. Some people have also been scammed by fraudulent individuals who promise “sure odds”. They pay these individuals who supply fake games after collecting huge amounts of money. To get the best, predict your games yourself, analyze team performance and stake high.

Betting as a source of Livelihood             

The worst thing anyone can do is to make betting a source of livelihood. It will bring frustration and depression. I’ve always advised people to take betting as a game of fun and chance and not as a source of livelihood.

On betting and criminal activities?

Most persons who would have engaged in social vices now put in time to forecast games and those who are lucky win. Predicting takes a lot of energy, brain work and time, and youths now channel their time into forecasting games than engage in criminal activities.

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