A university student committed suicide in Migori after losing Sh80,000 in football bets.
The Kenyatta University student was found hanging behind his mother’s house in Ondome, Uriri on Wednesday.
He left behind a note indicating that the money he was given to pay college fees had disappeared in betting and he saw no need of living.
The student had placed the money on the high-stakes high-stakes UEFA Euro 2016 match between Germany and Italy.
He put Sh40,000 on a Germany win and a similar amount on an Italy victory – both in normal time – but the match ended in a draw in that time.
“He watched the game in Nairobi but, after losing, decided to come back home, where he took his life,” said Migori police boss David Kirui.
An administrator at the Awendo Rapcom Hospital said the student was brought in dead.
“We could not resuscitate him because it was too late,” said Joseph Otieno.
A spot check by the Nation has shown that several young men and women have become addicted to sports betting, which is most of the times driven by a bid to make quick cash. They try their luck in the mushrooming betting platforms that have sprung up in Kenya.
And although some have had their living standards improve after winning good money in their bets, others are still struggling, awaiting their luck.
Secondary school and college students have been hooked to the betting craze with their parents getting worried since some no longer concentrate on their studies. Many boda boda riders and taxi drivers have abandoned their trade to engage in full-time betting.
“I quit my job when I realised I could make up to Sh5,000 daily from betting,” says Barnabas Okello, a taxi driver for the past seven years. “I am doing fine.”
Bar owners have been reporting good business arising from many revellers who flock their joints to follow the matches on the big television screens mounted in their premises.
“Most of the customers are people who have placed bets and they empty our stocks as they assess whether they are losing or winning,” said Fred Waswa, a bar owner.
Cyber café owners have also not been left behind as people who do not have smartphones jam their shops throughout the day, betting online.