A former gambler, Supreme Petras Anaab Ali, believes sports betting was introduced to keep the African youth in poverty.

Ali said he was an active gambler for eight years and staked bets for a long time without getting anything in return.

The former University of Ghana student told Joy News that he thought he could invest in betting but rather ended up losing a lot of money.

“[Betting is ]a way for the white man to cripple the African youth so that the youth wouldn’t have a better future,” he said.

Activities such as going to the stadium and entertaining myself were not my father’s responsibility, so I had to get that money by myself, and since I didn’t want to steal, I invested it into betting. But I wasn’t lucky; my friends too weren’t lucky.”

Ali further revealed that before finally quitting sports betting, he spent close to GHc10,000 on bets and won back just GHc200

“Last year, I spent almost ₵10,000 on betting, and I won only ₵200. So per my calculations, if I am to combine the monies I have spent [on betting in eight years], it would be more than the GDP of Ghana,” he stated.

Sports betting has often divided opinions among Ghanaians, with certain quarters highlighting its effects on the youth.

Others also believe betting is legal and therefore cannot be described as a bad practice when no laws are broken.

Last year, GH One newscaster Serwaa Amihere came under fire for suggesting sports betting was becoming a national crisis.

Dancehall artiste J. Derobie is also on record to have said that sports betting is good and has saved many youths from engaging in armed robbery.

In 2019, the singer said sports betting was a means of survival for many young men who could otherwise have been involved in other social vices.