28 January 2013

Uganda: High Youth Gambling Worries Malaba Leaders

Malaba town council authorities want tougher by-laws to regulate the operations of sports betting companies that have sprung up in the area.

George Alfred Obore, the LC3 chairman, attributed the increased cases of crimes, especially theft, waylaying of people, throwing of fake money on the road and assault, to an increase in gambling among the youth, in an attempt to meet their betting costs.

Speaking during a council meeting recently, Obore said sports betting, which is a form of gambling, exposes the youth to various anti-social activities such as drug abuse and prostitution, which make them vulnerable to HIV infection.

He said the new phenomena had caused the youth to shun productive ventures designed by the Government to uplift their standard of living.

Obore was also irked by the low turn up of youth for the ongoing youth football tournament, which kicked off last week. He said it was because they were investing much of their time in gambling.

Stephen Ebere, the secretary for works, accused the betting companies of violating the existing laws. He said children have now started dropping out of school in order to make quick money from betting.

The council speaker, Andrew Mugisha Orono, directed the acting town clerk to draft a by-law for the council to adopt and approve.

He said companies that allow minors to engage in gambling ought to face the law with the accompanying heavy penalties.

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