A police advocacy group, Police Campaign Against Cultism and Other Vices (POCACOV), has expressed concern over gambling addiction among youths.
The National Coordinator of POCACOV, CSP Ebere Amaraizu, in Enugu on Wednesday that gambling remained a pull factor pushing young minds involvement into social vices among others.
Amaraizu said this while speaking on the recent dangers of gambling addiction as well as challenges and way out for young Nigerians.
According to him, youth gambling addiction is an ill-wind that blows no good to anyone.
“Hence, the advocacy for a holistic societal approach where all hands will be on deck by all relevant stakeholders to checkmate the emerging trend with a view to revising it,” he said.
He noted that one of the main draws of gambling was the promise and expectation of great reward and this had left gambling addicted young persons’ to try at all cost to have money at all time for betting/ gambling.
The national coordinator further maintained that young minds often struggle to properly deal with loses and tend to overcompensate by throwing even bigger money on this game of chance.
He said: “Gambling encourages reckless and irresponsible behavior and inhibits the ability to properly assess risks and consequences.
“It is obviously a pull factor to vices, depression, suicide and some cases of mental disorder among others.
“Survey conducted revealed that gambling addicted youths are prone to missing schools, having low grade in schools and school drop outs. It destroys academic life and career successes.”
Amaaizu noted that youths addicted in gambling are more prone to substance and drug abuse which increases the pathways and engagement in criminal activities.
“Such criminal activities included sexual and gender based violence, advance fee fraud also known as Yahoo Yahoo and ritual killing (Yahoo Plus) all which are Serious and Organized Crime (SOC).
“Gambling is all about risk taking and so, this increases the chances of young minds getting into the pathways of risk taking which eventually exposes them to psychological and behavioral issues,” he said.
Amaraizu, however, recommended that curbing gambling addiction would require participation of all relevant stakeholders through holistic societal approaches.
He said that another action necessary to curb the menace is mentoring and reorientation.
“There is a also a need to create a better and safer environment for children to grow and thrive through adult guidance and parent support programs which will concentrate on negative consequences of gambling/betting.
“Various regulatory and re-orientation agencies should rise up to the challenges for a safe, peaceful and secured society and a better nation,” he added.