In the past few years, betting has caught on in many countries especially in Africa and has moved from the casinos to every single corner imaginable due to technology.
Our manifesto: This is what YEN.com.gh believes in
Some years ago, one had to move from his or her house to a casino in town to be able to bet on casino games. Betting appeared to come with a certain tag that made it look like an illegal activity that only took place in the dead of night.
However, with the passage of time, the betting sector has opened up and has spread throughout many countries with investors cashing in massively on it.
Now, bets can be placed on virtually any sport, and bettors are gradually getting good at predicting the outcomes of many of these sporting events.
When sports betting started catching on in Ghana, only a few sports betting companies in the system, such as Supabets and Safaribet, existed.
Enjoy reading our stories? Join YEN.com.gh's Telegram channel for more!
Even with this, one had to go all the way to the betting company's few shops to check fixtures to be able to place a bet.
However, in a short time, the number of sports betting companies quadrupled in the country.
The competition became so stiff that some of these betting companies started online betting - a phenomenon that allowed bettors to place their bets in the comfort of their homes and also provide some sort of privacy.
Many people have wondered what is fueling the growth of the betting industry - the 'fuel' happens to be the mouthwatering payouts that some of the betting companies give.
For instance, a betting company can pay a winning customer a maximum of GHC200,000 on a win should all the predictions happen.
There have been instances that people became instant millionaires after they placed a bet with as little as GHC2 and won as much as GHC90,000.
The growing need to belong and the even more growing need to make ends meet, fulfil financial obligations keeps the betting industry growing as clients bet intending to hit the jackpot.
We would depend heavily on sports betting for this feature and base our examples and references on the same.
Basics of Sports Betting
All sports betting companies have 'bookies' who create the sports betting odds that clients can place bets on. Normally, stronger teams get smaller odds while the weaker teams get bigger odds.
One can place a bet on just a single team or individual to as many as 50 teams at a time. So naturally, the more teams one selects, the higher the odds accumulated to payout higher return.
For instance, a particular odd for a team would be pegged at 1.20, therefore, placing a bet of GHC100 would payout GHC120; giving the bettor a profit of GHC20 without bonus.
Same way, placing a GHC10 bet on 100 odds would payout GHC1,000 giving the bettor profit of GHC900 without bonus.
For a bet slip to be considered won, the team(s)/individual(s) must produce the selection made on them on the bet slip.
A bet slip would be considered lost should the team(s)/individual(s) fail to produce the prediction selected on them.
For instance, if a bettor picks Manchester United to win in a particular game but they rather end up losing or drawing the game, the bet would be lost.
The major rule of all sporting companies which they even advertise is the fact that only persons 18 years and above can go into betting.
Growing Trend in Betting
Over the years, many bettors have cashed in massively after they placed bets to either double, triple or tremendously multiply their initial stake amounts.
This has somewhat proven to be an easier route to riches and the chances of benefiting from untold success should one's predictions happen.
Betting has proven to many people to be a way for them to pay off debts and raise money within a short time to meet financial demands.
Many bettors are of the view that it would be better to place money on sports betting and get the money back with profit instantly than put the money in an investment account which would grow over time.
The Business Side of Sports Betting
Sports betting has grown to become a huge industry in many countries including Ghana.
In Ghana, for instance, many sports betting companies have gone into advertising their business in mass media. It is now commonplace to see huge billboards in prime locations advertising betting companies and their juicy offers.
Some of these betting companies also advertise on radio, TV and on many online platforms , provided the money they are paying to advertise would result in driving traffic to their betting centers and online platforms.
Many of these companies also share pictures with some of their winners who pose dummy cheques showing their huge winnings as a way of advertising their brands.
Many individuals have capitalized on their ability to expertly predict sporting events to strike deals with some of the betting companies.
For instance, someone with a lot of followers on social media can become an influencer for a betting company after he or she is able to predict some odds on a regular and gets noticed.
Some of these betting companies contact these influencers and pay them huge amounts to get them to influence their huge followings to do business with them.
These influencers are tasked to post the website of the betting companies that contract them and get their followers to open accounts and deposit money into their accounts.
In Ghana, for instance, TikTok sensation, Jackline Mensah, influences for 1xbet and has been seen posting skits while promoting the online betting brand.
The same can be seen in Nigeria where comedians and other influencers are seen posting betting promo codes on their social media pages to get their followers to sign up to enjoy bonuses.
Betting companies using CSR as a tool to grow
It has become common now to see betting companies going into full-blown Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) as a way to grow their brands.
At one point, one of the pioneer betting companies in Ghana, Supabets, was sponsoring Ghana Premier League footballing giants, Kumasi Asante Kotoko. This move gave the betting company huge mileage when they decided to set up shop in the Ashanti region of Ghana.
Soccabet, one of the biggest sports betting companies in Ghana currently, partnered with Ghanaian-Nigerian model, Victoria Michaels, to provided 1 million nose masks to Ghanaians, following the outbreak of COVID-19.
These and more are the CSRs that many of these betting companies engage in to grow from being known brands to becoming loved brands.
Ghanaians who have won big with Sports Betting
Many people have benefitted from sports betting with stories of Ghanaians breaking the bank of these betting companies to win millions of cedis.
Quite recently, YEN.com.gh reported that a young Ghanaian man, popularly known on social media as Sugar Kwami, made it big as he tried his luck on sports betting.
Sugar Kwami won a slip with a total amount of more than GHc225,000 after placing a bet on just three football matches.
The young man staked an amount of GHC50,000 on the three matches.
Ghanaians who have lost massively in with Sports Betting
Due to the promise of huge payouts, sports betting can become very addictive and the consequences of this can be very dire as one would try to get rich at all costs through this means.
Many people have ended up losing their entire investments, savings and even their employers' sales to sports betting.
This has also landed many people including employees of companies into serious trouble with the authorities.
YEN.com.gh reported some months ago that Saddick Amoah, a 23-year-old salesman at a Fan Milk depot in Ashaiman, was arraigned before court for staking a sports bet with his company’s sales.
According to a report sighted by YEN.com.gh on Ghanaweb.com, Saddick Amoah reportedly used GHC7,000 out of sales he had made in the day to stake a bet.
He had the intention of winning the bet, returning the GHC7,000 into the company's coffers and keeping the profits to himself.
YEN.com.gh also reported that the Hohoe Circuit Court jailed a 31-year-old fuel station supervisor for losing the company's money on sports betting.
The court handed Yusif Abubakar a 15- year jail term for using GHC139, 118 belonging to his employer for sports betting and ended up losing it.
The trial judge, Yaw Opoku Acheampong, said during his sentencing that he would have handed Abubakar a 20-year jail term but for his show of remorse throughout the trial.