Nyamweya is a global researcher with many years of experience on practical research on a diversity of topics
In my earlier days, where I lived and I believe in many other parts of world as well, betting was like a norm for both young and older adults. In my time as a young adult, technology was well established, although not at the level it is currently. During those days, betting was still popular but majorly in football and horse games. Personally, I would go to a bookmarkers store ostensibly to place a bet and try my luck. I would then have to wait until the game concluded before claiming my winnings, or walking away a looser. Since then, the betting industry has witnessed immense change primarily spurred by advances made in technology, especially mobile technology. Today, I need not to walk four blocks to place a sport or any kind of wager, be it soccer, basketball, baseball or even slots, as I can effortlessly place my bet online via my phone.
In the former periods in which mention has been made, betting addiction was rare, or in other cases, something unheard of. Emergence of mobile phones have and will continue to change the sporting and betting industry for more years to come as any millennial or myself could effortlessly place wagers online regardless of physical location. However, times have changed and the youth of today face different challenges as opposed to youths during my growth. The introduction of betting among young adults and in some areas even children, has become easy, something which raises concerns as there are less laws to govern betting in most countries, especially the third economy nations. For instance, Australia recently had heightened concerns over the state of gambling in the nation resulting in new regulations to control the upsurge, particularly among young adults.
As cheaper phones and faster internet constantly become more accessible to young adults, I have witnessed more male youths embarking on sports gambling. Some of my male youth friends now consider sports betting a full time job. This is a prevalent habit, especially among male counterparts who are unemployed or have much time to waste during the day with nothing significant to engage in. Mostly, my male friends prefer to individually place their wagers. The young female friends I have on the other hand tend to display fewer instances or need for mobile phone sports betting, or any form of betting at all. Those I happen to know who endeavor in mobile betting display entirely different characteristics compared to their male counterparts. A young friend of mine in particular likes to accompany a couple of her friends, where they go and participate in different casino and sports betting on their mobile phones.
In my neighborhood, one that is poorly developed and disadvantageous, both youth and children used to be found playing slots, which in most cases leads to sports betting. Here, there is an abundance of casinos and slot machines, unlike more well heeled neighborhoods, where many of my youth friends used and still like to spend most of their time congregated and placing wagers. The matter has been exacerbated by the ever increasing number of phones both the youth and even children have access to today. This company of mine no longer spends time making long queues at casinos, but are glued to their phones, estimating which sports team has higher chances of winning. At times, I am unable to help but anticipate a perfect storm, in which most of them develop what is known as gambling disorder, or otherwise become gambling addicts.
As a former gambler and an acquaintance of many currently playing sports betters as well as pokies, it is evident that emotion plays quite a major role in all of this. While I liked sports betting too, I realized that much of my emotions were invested heavily in the sports I watched and wagered on. With mobile phone sports betting, this is considerably true as I along with the majority of my company get emotionally attached whenever we place a sports wager, especially one which involves the teams we have support for. In other words, the feeling sports gambling evokes is somewhat exhilarating. For me specifically, winning evoked a rather elated mood, while losing left me felling downed and infuriated. In the long run, I realized that my sentiments regarding the game and betting overall had an effect on what I call sound thinking, thus leading to a detrimental situation. To that end I was no longer a successful sports better and I think the same can be said to the youth of today who place immense emotion while wagering on mobile phones.
The youth who presently engage in mobile phone sports gambling easily develop what is called problematic sports gambling, which in turn can have diverse effects on their emotions, finances and social well-being. In my encounter with what seemed as a pathological sports betting young adult, I noticed how loss in lifestyle, assets and even savings placed them in a susceptible condition. What is more, these young adults have to deal with embarrassment and social shame, which not only degrades their confidence but also their overall well-being. Accordingly, many of sports betting youth who have access to mobile phones usually find themselves creating a gap with their social networks. I have witnessed family connections severed due to pathological sports betting behaviors among young adults. Mobile phones only make the matter worse as they provide children too with the ability to access online sports betting sites.
Addiction is the ultimate occurrence associated with problematic betting. Personally, I have seen young adults, through mobile phone betting, bet on sports up to a point where the need to bet becomes a compulsive one. Although I have never experienced the addiction myself, I cannot help but state that sports betting via mobile phones has worsen the already shoddy issue among the youth of today. I have on several occasions countenanced even underage children involved in sports betting through mobile phones. This makes it harder for even the federal government to control such vices. Since I have also had an experience of betting, this led me to wonder whether the youth of today undergo the same difficulties I did, or more? What aspects of their lives are affected by mobile phone sports betting? What role has mobile phones played in worsening this global issue?