Gambling in sub-Saharan Africa: traditional forms and emerging technologies

Bitanihirwe, B. K.Y., Adebisi, T., Bunn, C. , Ssewenyana, D., Darby, P. and Kitchin, P. (2022) Gambling in sub-Saharan Africa: traditional forms and emerging technologies. Current Addiction Reports, 9(4), pp. 373-384. (doi: 10.1007/s40429-022-00449-0) (PMID:36312763) (PMCID:PMC9595076)

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Purpose of Review: The gambling industry in Africa has seen substantial growth and evolution over recent years with a growing body of literature describing these shifts. Here, we provide a narrative synthesis of the extant literature on the origins, trends and consequences of the expansion and intensification of the commercial gambling industry in sub-Saharan Africa with a reference for future research on gambling as a growing public health concern. Recent Findings: The historical shift and permeation of gambling in sub-Saharan Africa is diverse with evidence of certain countries following a neo-colonial logic. Advances in technology have made gambling more accessible and created new markets in Africa. A key motive driving gambling on the continent is a lack of stable employment. While the intensification and growth of Africa’s gambling industry has brought economic benefits to some African investors and individuals, this has been accompanied by a range of gambling harms. Legislation and policies designed to better regulate the gambling industry and redress these harms are needed. In this context, a small number of services and campaigns designed to mitigate gambling harms demonstrate promise, but more research is needed in this area. Summary: The gambling industry in sub-Saharan Africa has undergone a dramatic transformation. While it is true that the growth of the African gambling industry has provided an additional revenue stream to governments, it is also necessary to acknowledge the concurrent rise in gambling addiction and the health-related and social harms that it elicits. As such, designing effective regulatory measures and policy interventions that can reduce the public health burden of gambling harms is vital. However, these interventions need to take in to account the significance of cultural differences that exist among countries on the continent.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bunn, Dr Christopher
Authors: Bitanihirwe, B. K.Y., Adebisi, T., Bunn, C., Ssewenyana, D., Darby, P., and Kitchin, P.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Current Addiction Reports
ISSN (Online):2196-2952
Published Online:25 October 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Current Addiction Reports 9(4): 373-384
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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