When social media became popular, I thought it was the most popular thing I’d ever see in my life. I mean, there’s nothing else that would take over the fever that social media had brought into this country. But turns out I was wrong, because sports betting happened.If you just dropped from Pluto, then welcome to this country where sports betting and gambling is one of the most-done activities. It’s something that raised eyebrows of everyone, to the point of being discussed in parliament. Can we talk about the gambling in Kenya? Good.

Gambling in Kenya began few years ago. It wasn’t there during last general Election, right? So it’s less than five years old. But it’s spread like bush-fire, with the likes of Sportpesa pioneering it. Guys get to predict games (local and foreign) and when they get their predictions right, they win otherwise they lose. One peculiar thing is that when betting, the teams have odds. The one with the least odd is more likely to win, whereas the one with the highest odd is least likely to. So, let’s say Barcelona is playing Real Sociedad, and the two have odds of 1.30 and 23.62 respectively. The whole betting nation will place their money on Barca. Then out of the blues, Real Sociedad score one goal, park the bus and beat Barca.

There are instances where students have been reported to gamble all their school fees on these ‘obvious games’ otherwise known as ‘sure bets’. A Daystar student gambled KShs 17,000 on two teams and one lost. A Maseno student gambled 43k last year, he lost it all and went home. More than once we’ve had cases of guys who commit suicide because they gambled their last coin on a team they were sure would win, then lost and couldn’t live to explain this to their dependants. A video of an old man trying to call a mobile service provider crying that his 5k had been lost in a bet he’s placed while drunk went viral months ago. Last weekend, a Tanzanian gambler broke in a howl after he lost too in a bet. The lad has however been compensated by hitmaker Ohmmy Dimpoz.

If you involve yourself in betting, then you might have probably come through the gaming controls of betting. When you decide to bet;

1. Ensure you do it while you’re sober.

2. Do not use all your money in placing a bet. Use the amount you can afford to lose.

3. Betting is not an investment, don’t look at it that way.

4. Have limits. Limit your betting amounts, and the time you’ll spend in betting.

5. Do not seek to recover money lost in previous bets, you’ll only lose more. Work with strategy, and not emotions.

6. Use your knowledge to place bets, not the odds placed.

7. Prepare yourself for two possible outcomes, a win or a lose.

If you feel that betting has taken a toll over you, you can opt out. It’s addictive so it’s difficult to log out by yourself. Then get in touch with the betting company to temporarily suspend your account.