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Thousands of students squander school fees on sports betting

28 January 2015, 11:44 Godfrey Olukya

Kampala - Many young people in Uganda are squandering their school fees on sports betting amid constant warnings against the vice by religious and political leaders.

This practice has forced many students to drop out of school and live with shattered dreams.

Reports reveal that at least 10 students who were supposed to graduate from Makerere university last week did not make it because their names were not in the graduation list, after they wasted their tuition money on sports betting.

Ministry of Education official, Robert Mugisha said, ''It is unfortunate that over 10 students failed to graduate because they spent their money in sports betting. All of them confessed that they thought they would make more money through betting and put their fees at stake.''

Mugisha observed that Makerere University students are not the only ones who fall prey to betting, noting that thousands of students from other universities, secondary schools and institutions of higher learning divert their school fees to sports betting.

He said that since the students are above 18 years of age, they are expected to be mature enough to make decisions and therefore government cannot intervene.

But some of the students have complained that they at times win big money but the companies fail to pay them.

Since other people have also complained about it, the government of Uganda has increased security bond for betting companies from UGX 200 million to UGX 500 million to safeguard those who win on a bet but at times do not receive their money.

The chairman of the National Lotteries Board, Manzi Tumubwoine said that no company will be allowed to start operating in Uganda without the UGX 500 million because some companies have on some occasions failed to pay the winners.

He said, ''Whoever wants to start a sports betting company in Uganda should first pay UGX 500 million so that if it fails to pay the winners, that money can be used to pay them.''

He also warned the companies against changing odds and advised the public against getting addicted to sports betting because it is not profitable.

He however said that last year government collected UGX 11 billion as taxes from sports betting companies.

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- MyNews24

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