Many residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, may have found succour in gambling to cushion the effects of the current economic recession, The Point investigation has revealed. Our correspondent, who went round the Ilorin metropolis, discovered that many residents, including civil servants, clerics, young ladies and housewives have suddenly taken to football betting to eke out a living.
Investigations revealed that the number of average customers of a couple of popular football betting centres, which used to hover bteween 70 and 100 people per day, has now increased to a minimum of 300 customers every match day.
Speaking with this medium, a civil servant, Mr. Dayo Olaolu, disclosed that he had been surviving on football betting because of the current economic crunch, which had made life tough.
“I am not a gambler, but the situation in the country has forced me into it now as there is no alternative,” he said. A fashion designer, Mr. Quadri Idris, said he had been trying his luck to win a bet in order to cater for his family’s needs because his business was no longer thriving due to the recession.
“Man must survive and I think the best way for this present situation is to gamble. I will not steal to survive, as the situation at hand demands alternative means,” he said.
“I am a very lucky person because I always win bet. I use the money I get from betting to finance my tuition as there is no one to assist except my parents,” he said.
A manager of one of the betting centres, Bet9ja, in the Olunlade area of Ilorin, confirmed that his betting business had been recording high patronage from customers, including people of different categories in the society.
Man must survive and I think the best way for this present situation is to gamble
“We see pastors, bankers, teachers, students and even girls coming to play bet as alternative for making a livelihood,” he said.
Similarly, Mr. Mohammed Ishola, the manager at Bet 360, Amilegbe area, Ilorin, said customers were coming in droves to try their luck. ”I am shocked at the high rate of patronage these days. This centre is always overcrowded that you hardly see space to place your legs,” he said.
In the same vein, residents have abandoned buying of new wares for the fairly used ones. They patronise used items such as cloths, popularly called ‘bosikoro’, electronics and other household materials.