Welfare Effects of Gambling on Nigerian Youths: A Case Study of Lagos State

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Saidi Atanda Mustapha
Sunday Oluwafemi Enilolobo


With the increasing rate of youth unemployment in the country, Nigeria’s youths have invested their commitments (time, money and intrinsic efforts) to several gambling avenues such as Baba Ijebu, Naira Bet, Westen Lotto Bet, etc. to source for finance to meet up their daily expenses and reduce the crime rate that would have engaged in as a result of high rate of unemployment. The aggregate unemployment rate is 70%, while youth unemployment accounts for about 58%. With the huge rate of youth unemployment in the country, the study intends to examine the participation level of youths in gambling in Lagos State. It further inspects the effects of youth gambling on household welfare and spending. Methods used by the paper include: a two-stage survey design, a qualitative component that comprises of the targeted focus group discussions and probit modelling to estimate how important the identified challenges are. The paper found that Nigeria’s unemployed youths have utmost interest in gambling to sustaining their income source and meeting daily spending. These activities have reduce crime rate orchestrated by the youths, but with rising displacement effects on household welfare and spending. The paper concludes that gambling has adverse effect of youth’s welfare and therefore, recommends that the Lagos State government should embark on formalizing all gambling activities to protect the gambling youths and strengthen tax revenue collection through the introduction of “per winning tax”.

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