Essah Tahir, Ghana
Prevalent in the Ghanaian community is betting. Although betting has been in the system for quite some time, it has now gained a new form and popularity.
With ongoing progress in the world of IT and social media, the betting companies haven’t lacked behind. They have also taken due advantage in this progress and have taken a leap forward.
Betting, as we know, takes many forms but one such famous kind is sports betting. Among the numerous betting companies we have in the country is the soccabet. With its website soccabet.com and its own app, soccabet makes it easy now for those who want to engage in betting. It allows them to do so from the confines of wherever they find themselves.
Gone are the days where people who wanted to bet found it difficult and shameful; with the advancement of technology, people especially the youth from their mobile phones stake their bets and it has become some form of norm for the Ghanaian populace.
On its website, Soccabet says about its company; ‘‘…..SOCCABET is a focused online sports-betting business spreading all around Ghana. Soccabet covers offline, online, mobile and telephone betting operations. As one of the Ghana’s leading betting companies, it prides itself in offering its customers the widest range of betting and gaming products and opportunities…..’’
Dangers of sports betting
The dangers associated with sports betting are enormous. A few of them are as follows;
Betting can be addictive.
On its own website again Soccabet says ‘’18+ GAMBLING CAN BE ADDICTIVE. PLAY RESPONSIBLY.’’
From this it becomes apparent that these betting companies know that betting can be addictive, but still go on to offer such service. One may ask; why? And one answer is: for the monetary profit it generates.
Low productivity at work
People who normally engage in sports betting tend not to do well when it comes to productivity at work. As most of their time will be spent on following or observing the games or trends so as to bet well to increase their chances of winning.
Those who engage in sports betting and gain quite some wins are reluctant to work hard. Because betting doesn’t involve hard work and could pay a lot if one stakes high and wins, most of those who bet do not see the need to work hard to generate lawful income.
The win/lose trends associated with sports betting can cause the bettors to experience depression. People who bet get excited when they win and sad when they lose. When they lose huge sums of money or even smaller sums in many attempts to win, they may experience depression.
It says in the Holy Quran:
‘’They ask thee concerning wine and the game of hazard. Say: ‘In both there is great sin and also some advantages for men; but their sin is greater than their advantage…..’’ (2:220)
Allah admonishes us that the disadvantages of gambling which includes sports betting far outweigh the advantages.
Also, in the Holy Quran, it is stated:
‘‘O ye who believe! wine and the game of hazard and idols and divining arrows are only an abomination of Satan’s handiwork. So shun each one of them that you may prosper. Satan desires only to create enmity and hatred among you by means of wine and the game of hazard, and to keep you back from the remembrance of Allah and from Prayer. But will you keep back?’’ (5:91-92)
In the above quoted verse, gambling has been mentioned to be a handiwork of Satan who through these means seeks to make us neglectful of prayer as it is supposed to be done and the remembrance of God.
In terms of gambling, the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) has said:
“It is prohibited because it is a means of recklessly wasting a person’s fairly earned and honest income or wealth… Rather, than seeking dishonest ‘easy-money’ through gambling, you should seek to earn a living in a fair and honest fashion. Remember, that a true Khadim* is he who works hard, with honesty and integrity at all times.”
*A member of the Community’s Youth Organisation, for Ahmadi boys and men aged 15-40 years.
About the author: Essah Tahir is a missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Ghana serving at The Review of Religions Department.