The early exit of football teams of the supposedly heavy-weight countries at the just concluded world biggest football fiesta tagged “Russia 2018″, which ended on July 15, resorted into joys to the betting companies.
It, however, brought agonies to several of those who staked with the betting companies in Lagos for possible claims or dividend.
Many of such clients have continued to count their losses following the defeat suffered by their preferred teams by their opponents.
Sports betting has now become a booming business in the country for people to make ends meet and sequel to the fact that most of those who indulge in the betting have special interests in football in particular.
Many Nigerians that include: students, adults and upwardly mobile men and women have dominated the customers of the various betting companies and, especially, sports betting.
The fast pace at which new betting companies with a special bias for sports are emerging is alarming and welcoming.
After the grand finale of the Russia 2018 where Croatia lost to France, a customer who had staked N50, 000 before the match thinking that Croatia would emerge the overall winner wept uncontrollably when he realised that his fortunes had gone into the drain.
It took the efforts of other fans there to console him.
After he had regained his composure, he told other fans that he staked such a huge amount on the team because of its sterling performances right from the group stage up to the semi-finals.
“With what happened now, I have learnt my lessons that truly, anything can happen in the game of football,’’ he said.
Also, another customer, Jamiu Ojo, who staked N20,000 with his belief that Germany would beat South Korea to advance to the next stage of the world cup went wild when the outcome of the match did not favour him.
He told NAN that he had recorded more losses than he had won. “I will keep betting because I hope that one day I will hit the jackpot.’’
He said that like most people, he used to have the impression that betting was an avenue for people to make quick and easy cash.
“To tell you the truth, it is not easy to make money from betting. Beating the bookmakers is not an easy task.
“They trick you with good odds, but in the end, only a handful people win.
“Betting most times requires lots of research and luck, “he said.
Another person who simply identified himself as Punmba as his betting identity said, “This World Cup prediction has turned out to be a shocker.’’ Punmba said that he lost close to N200,000 to betting during the fiesta.
“To be honest, I was expecting to make a lot of money during the World Cup because I assumed that there would be high chances of the stronger teams defeating the smaller ones.
“However, the underdogs at this World Cup have proved to be up to the task of defeating the supposedly stronger ones, and this has caused a major upset for me this time around, “he said.
A report by a popular online forum, stated that “60 million Nigerians between 18 years and 40 years of age spend more than N1 billion daily on sports betting”.
The report also revealed that “a betting company can generate up to N20 million monthly and use between N5 million and N7 million to meet winners’ obligation in terms of payment”.
Kunle Olawale, an agent with a betting company, and manages a centre in Okota area of Lagos State told NAN that he wished he had enough capital to start his own betting company.
“These companies make a lot of money. We send loads of cash to their headquarters after the end of each day’s transactions’’.
Olawale said that the emergence of the betting outfits had increased and boosted business for operators of viewing centres across the nation.