By: Joseph Kiragu
The recent rise of gambling problems among Kenyan youths is alarming. The availability of good mobile digital technology has been enabling an exponential increase of betting practices among the youth.
Further, the proliferation of online gambling sites poses a new challenge to the youths. Reasons most cited by the youths for engaging in gambling are for the possibility of winning money in a quick and easier way without hardworking, excitement, and entertainment.
This has led the youths to spend most of their time engaged in these activities thus suffering from addiction. Notably, these gambling activities have been resulted in to rise of criminal behavior, poor academic performance, and school dropout and leaving them bankrupt.
In addition, gambling has led to mental health outcomes such as depression and increased risks of a suicide attempt. Due to these negative impacts, there is a need to interrogate and respond to problems resulting from gambling among the youths from protection and health orientation.
Government and the public should collaborate to protect the youths from these damaging activities. Prevention can consist of increasing knowledge of the risks linked with gambling problems. Besides, the government can be urged through public advocacy to strengthen legislation on advertising gambling products in order to underage youths.