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Gaming Commission must stop minors from betting.

There is a growing trend of Ghanaian minors engaging in sports betting in spite of a law prohibiting teenagers below 18 years of age from taking part in any form of betting.

Sports betting, though relatively old in Ghana, the phenomenon of minors engaging in it is alarming, and, therefore, requires swift measures to immediately stop the menace from blowing out of proportions.

The Chronicle has observed that most minors form a significant customer population of betting centers, especially in the major cities and towns across Ghana. Some of these minors engaged in betting are between the ages of 11 and 17 years old.

Interestingly, at some of the betting centers The Chronicle has visited, notices were posted cautioning customers and potential customers that teenagers below 18 years of age are prohibited from betting, yet, operators of these centers still receive and allow minors to bet.

Though we admit that during our visits some responsible betting operators turned away teenagers they suspected were minors, this was not the case in most of the centers.

Our enquiries from some of these minors revealed they were sent by adults, including their parents, relatives, and, in some instances, their 'masters', in the case of those who are apprentices.

The Chronicle has observed that some minors now use school hours to go and bet, as they claim it is a lucrative enterprise that gives them a lot of money. Though some admitted it is a risky venture, because they mostly lose a lot of money, they also claimed, on a good day, they make a lot of gains.

What is more disturbing is the fact that some of these minors have been able to acquire high-tech cell phones and Ipads, and now do their betting online, because almost all the betting companies now have online betting platforms. What this means is that such minors cannot easily be tracked and prevented from betting.

Notwithstanding this challenge, The Chronicle is appealing to the Gaming Commission of Ghana to, as matter of urgency, ensure full compliance with the gaming law and regulations of Ghana, so as to curb this worrying trend of minors engaging in sports betting.

The fact that some of these betting centers are sited in residential areas and close to schools is enough to create easy access for minors to sneak into them to bet.

In order to control this, The Chronicle is also asking the Commission to ensure the suitability of gaming premises before issuing licenses to companies wanting to go into the betting business.

All adults, including parents, who wish to engage in betting must do so on their own and by themselves, and not send children below 18 years of age.

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Publication:Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra, Ghana)
Geographic Code:6GHAN
Date:May 16, 2019
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