Betting: They are getting younger by the day

Youth have made it a habit to make a quick buck by guessing

It is common knowledge that the people of this country love cricket. The fanfare is unfortunately transforming into a new form of addiction among cricket loving students and youth of the region.

Students and youth are seen discussing the odds of betting on IPL matches, irrespective of their team loyalties. Though team choices are at times biased by their loyalties, most of the times they depend on their “gut feeling” to predict an outcome. These youth expect to make a quick buck by guessing the outcome of cricket matches.

Ravi is a mechanic, working in a garage, near Agrahara in the city. Being a fan of Sachin Tendulkar, he has always put his money on Mumbai Indians during the IPL matches. He has won around Rs 10,000 this season by betting on his favourite team. “I bet for other matches also. But, luck has not been consistent with other teams, especially Royal Challengers Bangalore,” he said.

Ashwin Kumar (name changed) is a second year student of BCom in a reputed college in the city. Hailing from Gulbarga, he is lodged at a paying guest facility near Ramaswamy Circle in the city. “I started betting with my friends for fun this year,” he says, while admitting that he had gambled some money for the outcome of most of the games in IPL this year.

He animatedly recalls the instances where he had won money. “I won about Rs 4,000, while the teams I had put my money on, won six consecutive matches. But recently, my teams are losing,” he said.

His examinations begin on March 17, while he is engrossed in cricket matches, spending his parents’ money on betting. Ashwin however promises that he will stop betting soon. “But, I have to win the money I have lost and make little profit before that.” he said.

Psychology

“Gambling or betting will initially be a hobby. Soon, it will become a habit,” said G Venkatesh Kumar, Professor of Psychology, University of Mysore. He has conducted studies in Behavioural Psychology among adolescents for several years.

‘Pleasure’ is also a factor involved in betting, Venkatesh said. “Present generation is after making money fast. Since, betting is easily accessible to them, many fall prey to it,” he said. He added that the ‘stress’ undergone by the youth following a gamble, if experienced continuously, will increase chances of him/her being afflicted by psychological disorders in the future, he said.

Once a person is a habitual gambler, one to one counselling and peer group counselling is essential to get rid of them of their habits.

“Gambling has got its own history. However, with growing population, betting too has become widespread, especially in urban centres,” he said.

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