Unemployed Lenasia South youths turn to sports betting to earn a living

On Tuesday, 16 May, Statistics SA presented the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) results announcing the official unemployment rate of 32,9% in the first quarter of 2023. The results indicate that the number of employed persons increased by 258 000 to 16,2 million in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022 while the number of unemployed persons increased by 179 000 to 7,9 million during the same quarter.

Over the years, sports betting has exponentially grown in the South Africa and the entire African continent, with widespread poverty and unemployment, many punters see sports betting as a source of regular income and a possible path out of poverty.

With daily sporting events, online games like Avatar, daily lotto and more betting options, punters flock websites, apps and sports betting establishments with the hope of bagging a jackpot and transforming their lives.

GLOBE POST’s intern, Lebohang Ndashe spoke to some Lenasia South punters outside Hollywood Bets on Starling Street.

An unemployed father of three, Papi Thobejane regularly bets on local and international soccer teams. He said: “I usually get piece jobs in and around Lenasia South and Lenz. Lately, it has been dry, I rarely get a good paying job. I then opted for sports betting, maybe my knowledge of sports will feed me and my family.”

With no other source of income, 27-year-old Dumisani Manzini from Migson Manor has for the past 2-3 years been surviving on sports betting.

“I try my best to watch as many matches as possible both local and international. I am one of the best sports punters around. Through sheer luck or my vast knowledge of the game, 80% of the time I win. I’m soon going to be a father and don’t plan on quitting betting anytime soon.”

Gambling has it own set of challenges, both punters agree that they sometimes get disappointed when their tickets do not make it, but they keep playing to at least earn a living.

Remember to gamble responsibly.

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