Sports betting fever grips Africa – Deutsche Welle


Sports betting and other forms of gambling are becoming a phenomenon?across Africa. Betting over which sports team might win has become a multi-million dollar industry. By 2022, the global gambling market could be worth $635 billion (596 billion euros), according to new findings by Dublin-based?Research and Markets.

In Africa, countries like Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are witnessing a huge expansion in?sports betting and other forms of gambling. Lotteries, poker, sport bets, slot machines, casino games, and online gambling is the new trend. Many enterprenuers and foreign companies are pocketing millions thanks to?the gambling boom.

In Ghana?s densely populated slum?Nima, the situation is dire because many unemployed youth spend their few coins in the hope of “making big cash.” During the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga and the?Champions league, sport gambling becomes the order of the day.

“I just felt like betting and won on my first try. Since then, I have never stopped. There have been many losses and few wins,” said 19 year old Baba Seidu. Idriss Musa from Nina was lured into betting by his friends, since then, he has?been doing it without his parent?s knowledge.?

“I started watching football then my friends told me about the betting. So I started,” Musa told DW. “I help my father with?work so he gives me small money then I come and bet,” Musa said. ?

In Ghana, there has been a rapid increase of?betting companies such as?Supabet, Mybet, Premier Bet, Eurobet and SafariBet.

Mobile gaming in Kenya

In East Africa, Kenya?s SportPesa is taking gamblers by storm.?Young Kenyan football?lovers?are betting heavily leading to a boom in gambling across the nation. SportPesa which was launched in 2013, boasts over one million registered users who can easily bet using their smartphones.?

Football fans at the Africa Cup of Nations 2013 (picture-alliance/dpa)

Africa has a strong sports fan base, a potential market for sports betting

SportPesa requires individuals to register as a member with their phone numbers as their user name. Members?can then start placing bets on the team they think will win in a particular match, or predict a draw before the game starts.

Chezafutaa, Betway, Betin, Elitebet, Betyetu, Justbet, Easybet, Lucky to You and KenyaSportsBet are some of the companies that allow gamblers to?use?mobile phones and redeem their prizes through mobile money transfer.The latest entrant is Lotto which promises a guaranteed jackpot of 100 million kshs ($966,000 or equivalent to 908,000 euros).

Proponents of gamling argue that the industry comes with benefits to the economy. Gambling activities serve as ?a recreational enjoyment to the majority of the youths who also get safe places to pass time.?The government earns revenue from the centers and for those without a solid source of livelihood, the wins would also count as benefits for the participants.

Reports estimate that SportPesa earns at least 40 million euros in revenue. The same can be said of betting companies in Ghana which rake in millions in revenue.

China’s hand in Africa’s gambling

Critics like Ghanaian Efutu Member of parliament Afenyo Markin, accused?the Chinese who mainly own and run?most of the?gambling centers, for taking advantage of young people.

Macau street in China (P.Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

Gambling in Africa has attracted Chinese business people who run some of the centers.

“Those Chinese who have come with their raffle joints, I want to tell them we will encourage the police to close these joints down,” Markin told DW. Chinese investors have also been?accused of taking advantage of lax laws to operate illegal betting centers in the rural areas. “There are lot of raffle joints in Winneba. Properties are getting stolen because somebody wants money to go raffle,” Markin added.

An influx of Chinese goods in many African countries has allowed the entry of cheap internet-enabled mobile phones and slot machines. In Kenya, one can purchase the slot machines for as little as 100?euros directly from the manufacturers. Some of these cheap slot machines are situated?in the slums or middle class neighborhoods.

A game of addiction

It only costs a euro or less to bet which means gambling is no longer a preserve for the rich.?Many young people like Seidu have been struggling to stop the urge to bet. “That?s the challenge I am facing. Sometimes,?I want to stop even my mother?wants me to stop?but I can?t. Hey, I can?t stop like this, I can?t stop. I am still poor,”?Seidu said.

Young Nigerians using smartphones (Getty Images/AFP/S. Heunis)

Africa’s growing smartphone market has helped increase sport betting in the continent

Musa warned other young people not start gaming?to avoid getting hooked.”Sometimes when am coming to watch football then the thing [betting] will attract me, then I will start playing,”?Musa said.?The Gaming Commission of Ghana has started a campaign to close down all gambling centers operating illegally. Religious leaders in Nima have expressed concern that gaming firms are luring young people from vulnerable communities?who are idle and are looking for an easy way to make money.

Except for South Africa which is a more established gambling market, betting laws in most other African countries are quite recent, and regulation is still poor.

Isaac Kaledzi contributed to this report.

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Saturday highlights: all the news and big winners – Racing Post


Altior - Nico de Boinville

Altior put in a spectacular round of jumping to win at Newbury

? PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos) ?

?By?Mark Scully 6:00PM 11 FEB 2017?

With the Cheltenham Festival looming, a host of big guns were fired at Newbury and elsewhere on a day when the temperatures were freezing but the action was red hot. Here is how a fantastic afternoon of action unfolded.

1.35
There is a mover in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle market as High Bridge extends his winning run to three with a win in Newbury’s Read Paul Nicholls Exclusively At Betfair Novices’ Hurdle. Betway shorten the Ben Pauling-trained six-year-old from 25-1 to a general 14-1.

1.50
The remarkable Tobefair wins again! It is now seven in a row for the seven-year-old as he battles back in the most likeable fashion after being headed late on by Morello Royale to win the Betfair Cash Out Handicap Hurdle at Newbury. Trainer Debra Hamer’s Cheltenham Festival dream looks like it is going to come true.

2.10
Richard Johnson goes down with the flu and so Aidan Coleman is handed the not insignificant task of partnering Native River in the Betfair Denman Chase. No pressure, Aidan.

Native River (Aidan Coleman)

Le Mercury (far side) was brave but was no match for Native River

? PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) ?

2.30 NO JOHNSON, NO PROBLEM
Native River is off to the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup with an outstanding shot at glory after a fine victory in the Grade 2 Betfair Denman Chase at 11-10. Bristol De Mai, who went off the 10-11 favourite after late money, was soundly beaten, with Le Mercury running a big race in second. You will get no bigger than 9-2 for Native River in the Gold Cup markets now.

2.45
Willy Twiston-Davies must be wishing ITV could cover the racing every day – it’s another big televised winner for him as Flying Angel comes out on top in the Grade 2 Betway Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick.

Altior (Nico de Boinville)

Altior was nothing short of breathtaking at some of his obstacles

? PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) ?

3.05 FAR TOO GOOD
Altior steps out of novice company and pulverises his four rivals in the Grade 2 Betfair Exchange Chase at Newbury. A former Champion Chase winner was among those toiling in behind as Altior jumped spectacularly to ensure he heads to Cheltenham unbeaten over fences, following the same path as Sprinter Sacre – and comparisons between between the two sound increasingly less and less silly. At 1-3 favourite, the Racing Post Arkle is his for the taking.

3.25
Mark Walsh, Joseph O’Brien and JP McManus complete a double at Naas as Slowmotion wins the Listed BBA Ireland Limited Opera Hat Mares Chase. The three had earlier won the opener courtesy of Outspoken.

Nigel hugs his son Sam Twiston-Davies

Sam Twiston-Davies gets a hug from his father Nigel at Newbury

? PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) ?

3.40 BETFAIR TO BALLYANDY
Ballyandy, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies and trained by his father Nigel, wins the Grade 3 Betfair Hurdle at 3-1 as he gets the better of a brilliant battle with fellow leading hopeful Movewiththetimes, who returns at 6-1. Clyne takes third, also at 6-1, and Song Light fills fourth spot at 14-1.

3.50
Where to at the Cheltenham Festival for Ballyandy? Paddy Power cut him to 8-1 from 16-1 for both the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle – Sam Twiston-Davies tells reporters he would favour the latter.

4.50
Nicky Henderson completes a Newbury double as Daphne Du Clos wins the bumper at 15-8 under Sean Bowen, who earlier in the day rode a winner at Warwick. Bet365 make Daphne Du Clos a 7-1 shot for the Champion Bumper but you can get 12-1 with BetVictor.

4.55
Over at Meydan, Thunder Snow runs out a commanding winner of the UAE 2,000 Guineas under Christophe Soumillon for trainer Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin.

5.05
Carter McKay could hardly be more impressive as he canters away with the concluding bumper at Naas for Willie Mullins. William Hill remain a stand-out 8-1 for the Champion Bumper but Coral go 7-2 about the exciting prospect.


Star performance

Altior was obviously sensational but to these eyes, a gutsy staying chaser blessed with a touch of class is what the game is all about. It is fitting then that in a race named after the ultimate example of that in Denman, Native River further advertised his Gold Cup credentials with an excellent win. With Thistlecrack’s reputation dented, he could well be said to be the one to beat in the Cheltenham showpiece.

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WVU men's basketball a No. 4 seed in NCAA selection committee's early look – Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)


AP photo





West Virginia?s Tarik Philips (12) goes for two points during WVU?s Feb. 4 game versus Oklahoma State, Saturday, Feb. 4. The Mountaineers were the No. 4 seed in the West in the NCAA selection committee?s early look Saturday.

The NCAA men?s basketball tournament selection committee offered an early look at its top 16 seeds Saturday afternoon, and West Virginia University found itself among them.

The Mountaineers were the 14th overall seed and the No. 4 seed in the West Region. Gonzaga is the West?s No. 1 seed, followed by No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Virginia and the Mountaineers. The top overall seeds are No. 1 Villanova, No. 2 Kansas, No. 3 Baylor and Gonzaga.

The brackets are far from finalized, however. The final bracket will be announced on Sunday, March 12.



Wrestling: Division 2 championship semifinal results – The Journal News | LoHud.com


Nanuet’s Cody Massa wrestles Edgemont’s Andrew Williams in the 120 pound match during quarterfinals of Division 2 wrestling championships at Edgemont High School Feb. 10, 2017.?(Photo: Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal New)

The Division 2 semis have concluded here at Edgemont High and the finals are on schedule for 3 p.m. So far, so good in the D2 world.

Things are a little crazier up at Arlington for the Division 1 tournament. Due to weather concerns for Sunday, the decision has been made to wrestle the entire D1 tourney today. The finals are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Arlington, which is where I’m about to drive to. The good news is that Adrian Szkolar is on his way to Edgemont to relieve me and ensure that we’ll have the finals for both tournaments covered.

In the meantime, here’s where they stand in D2.

Division 2 (small school) sectional championships
At Edgemont

Team standings (through the semifinals): 1. Pleasantville (Pl) 182.5; 2. Putnam Valley (PV) 182; 3. Pearl River (PR) 171; 4. Pawling (Pw) 145; 5. Edgemont (Ed) 126.5; 6. Croton-Harmon (CH) 87; 7. Irvington (Irv) 78; 8. Nanuet (Nan) 74; 9. Hastings (Hs) 48; 10. Ardsley/Dobbs Ferry (ADF) 33; 11.?Lourdes (OLL) 22; 12. North Salem (NS) 20; 13. Woodlands (Wd) 7; 14. Westlake (Ws) 2.

Semis

99 ? Chris DiModugno (Nan) dec. Jerome Scott (Pw), 7-4; Alex Santana (Pw) dec. Michael Balducci (Pl), 7-1. 106 ? Len Balducci (Pl) pin Luke Wrobel (Pw), 2:46; Owen McDonald (PV) pin Chris DiMeglio (OLL), 4:23. 113 ? Mikey Bruno (PV) pin Joel Andrade (Irv), 3:55; Will Carano (PV) pin Akif Ahmad (Nan), 6:18. 120 ? Victor Perlleshi (Pl) pin Peter Tarulli (Irv), 3:37; Andy Williams (Ed) dec. Dante Simeti (PR), 5-3 OT. 126 ? Satoshi Abe (PV) tech. fall Cris D?Amelio (Irv), 17-2; Vlad Sidorenko (PR) dec. Noah Fleischman (Pw), 10-4. 132 ? Jared Eliopoulos (PV) maj. dec. Thomas Barsuch (CH), 12-0; Kyle Sams (PV) dec. Dylan Urban (PR), 4-3. 138 ? Jack Wrobel (Pw) dec. Emmet McCann (PR), 5-0; George Mellor (Ed) pin Nicholas Meglino (Ed), 3:07. 145 ? Jack Chesman (PR) pin Dean Appell (PV), 3:23; Doug Crocitto (Pl) pin Hector Monroy (ADF), 4:24. 152 ? Sean McGarvey (PR) pin Nathan Parker (CH), 1:32; Greg May (Pl) pin John Kiernan (Nan), 5:45. 160 ? Paul Bellucci (Pw) pin Alex Julian (CH), 2:39; Robbie Velichko (PV) dec. Karl Burnich (Nan), 2-0. 170 ? Anthony Malfitano (PR) pin Brendan Stierli (CH), 5:29; Matt Kuhlmann (Pw) pin Nate Moncy (Nan), 2:31. 182 ? Cliffton Wang (Ed) pin Jaydan Kammer (Pl), 4:46; Henry Cunniffe (Pl) pin Lucca Ardovini-Brooker (OLL), 4:38. 195 ? Eoghan Murphy (Hs) dec. Brett Giannantonio (Pw), 7-4; Aaron Lopez (CH) dec. Greg Hart (Pl), 3-1. 220 ? Chris Colombo (CH) pin Gannon Duffy (PR), 4:32; Jesse Fleming (NS) pin James Bellucci (Pw), 3:09. 285 ? Constantine George (PV) pin Surmed Khan (Ed), 0:32; Tyler DiLorenzo (PR) dec. Lou Russo (Ed), 1-0.

Twitter:?@vzmercogliano

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Why it makes sense for Jets to trade Sheldon Richardson – ESPN (blog)


The New York Jets question of the week involves what figures to be a hot storyline this offseason.

@RichCimini: I think the Jets would love to trade defensive end Sheldon Richardson for a return package that includes a first-round pick, even if it means surrendering their second-rounder, but they’d be hard-pressed to find a taker.

I can tell you put some thought into this proposal, Dino, but it’s a little too Jets-friendly, using the points system from the trusty trade value chart — yes, even for the 25th pick. Richardson’s value isn’t what it once was.

But let’s use your trade proposal to tackle broader questions: Should the Jets trade Richardson and, if so, at what price?

I think some people in the organization might be second-guessing the decision not to trade him to the Cowboys in October before the deadline. The Jets reportedly demanded a first-round pick. I can’t swear to this, but I bet the deal would have been completed if the Jets had been willing to accept a second-rounder. Now I’d be surprised if they get that much.

Sheldon Richardson finished with only 1.5 sacks this season for the Jets.?Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports

Richardson finished with only 1.5 sacks and did nothing to bury his reputation as an immature player with an oversized opinion of himself. He plays hard, I’ll give him that, but he doesn’t handle adversity well. He’s high-maintenance. He also has off-field issues — two league suspensions, including one for substance abuse. Oh, yes, he’s got a large salary, too — $8.1 million, the amount of his fifth-year option. By the way, it becomes fully guaranteed in early March.

Yes, I expect the Jets to shop him again. They have a surplus of defensive lineman and could do without his antics, especially with coach Todd Bowles trying to rebuild the locker room chemistry.

After talking to some people around the league, the sense I get is the Jets won’t be able to get more than a third-round pick for him. The Patriots traded Chandler Jones last offseason for what amounted to a second-round pick, and he was coming off a productive year.

Here’s where it gets tricky: If someone offers them a third-rounder for Richardson, do they make the deal? You argue that, for that price, they’d be better off keeping him for the final year of his contract. If they lose him as a free agent in 2018, they’d probably receive a third-round compensatory pick in 2019. That’s a long ways off.

Me? I’d trade him. The Jets need draft picks right now, not to mention the $8.1 million in cap room. It’s too bad Rex Ryan isn’t around anymore; he’d take him.



Judge orders Canadian hockey leagues to unseal financial records – The Desert Sun



Greg Douglas, Special to The Desert Sun

8:06 a.m. PT Feb. 11, 2017

By order of the Alberta Court of Queen?s Bench Judge Robert Hall, 42 junior franchises from the Western Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League must unseal their financial records. Both the WHL and OHL operate under the corporate umbrella of the Canadian Hockey League.

The legal action targeting the WHL, OHL and parent CHL claims the businesses failed to properly compensate players even while they pulled in revenues from ticket sales, television rights and sponsorships.

According to published reports, in arguing for the right to proceed with a $180 million class action suit lawyer Steven Barrett said the teams and the Canadian Hockey League “conspired with each other to ensure the players were not properly classified as employees or paid as employees.”

MORE: NFL teases American football in Canada

Some ex-players say they were paid $60 to $70 a week, a sum they contend is unfair. The legal firm fighting the case says it has more than 400 former and current major junior hockey players registered as interested in forming a class action.

The CHL claims a third of the teams in the WHL and OHL lose money and a minimum wage would bankrupt several franchises.

Major junior hockey team operators across Canada are anxiously awaiting the next step that could eventually put them out of business.

Scene and heard

Scotty Bowman, Murray Costello and Fran Rider have been welcomed into the prestigious Order of Hockey Canada ranks.

Bowman won 14 Stanley Cups and holds the National Hockey League record for most wins by a coach with 1,244 in the regular season and 223 more in playoffs. Costello served as president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and Hockey Canada from 1979 to 1998. Fran Rider, president and CEO of the Ontario Women?s Hockey Association, has played a key role in the development of women?s hockey since 1967.

MORE: Adam Hadwig celebrated CareerBuilder with fellow Canadians

Here and there

It has been unanimously accepted in Vancouver NHL circles that ?how go the Sendin twins, so go the Canucks.”?Daniel and Henrik are 36 years old and with one year remaining on their existing contracts critics have been suggesting perhaps it?s time for management to consider shopping them around prior to the March 1 trading deadline.

?I know people say we?re too old, we?re done,? Daniel told hockey writer Iain MacIntyre. ?But I don?t look at it that way. We are playing in the NHL and make a certain amount of money and we are supposed to help this team make the playoffs. That hasn?t changed. I can speak for both of us when I say we feel strong physically and mentally.?

Daniel scored the winning goal and assisted on another in Vancouver?s 3-0 win Thursday night in Columbus.?In his last 20 games prior to facing the Blue Jackets, he had scored just once. Heading into the weekend, Danel had 30 points through 53 games, which doesn?t make a 20-goal season seem unrealistic.

End zone

The late Pat Quinn will be honored next Saturday prior to the Canucks-Calgary game in Vancouver with a life-sized bronze statue outside Rogers Arena. Norman Williams, one of Canada?s pre-eminent sculptors, created the image that depicts the loveable Big Irishman coaching the Canucks during the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs. It includes him holding a roster card engraved with each player?s name from the ?94 roster.

Greg Douglas is a member of the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame in the media category. He can be reached at drsport@telus.net.