Funded PhD Opportunity: Football Gambling and Youth in Africa | H-Sport | H-Net

Football Gambling and Youth in Africa


Reflecting the global popularity of gambling among young people, youth participation in football betting has risen exponentially across sub-Saharan Africa in recent years. This has been facilitated by the spread and prevalence of mobile technology; the widespread popularity of football aided by satellite media broadcasting; weak macro-level regulatory regimes; and a recognition by the sports betting industry that African youth constitute a potentially lucrative market. In keeping with wider concerns around the profound harms that frequently accompany gambling, the prevalence of sports betting has been cited as one of the most pressing public health and societal issues on the African continent.

Despite this, academic research on the drivers and implications of sports gambling is limited. Focusing on an African context(s) of the candidates choosing, this project redresses this neglect by exploring the intersections between young peoples’ engagement in formal and informal football gambling and how they survive and ‘navigate’ urban contexts characterised by poverty. It is particularly concerned with the subjective meanings that male youth attach to this practice and how these correlate with the tendency to dismiss gambling behaviours as ‘irrational’.

Proposed Methodology

The proposed methods will be ethnographic and will seek to generate empirically grounded knowledge of football betting in an African context(s). This will involve participant observation of gambling behaviours, and their implications, among male youth. Semi-structured interviews and/or focus groups with participants in gambling will be key, alongside interviews with other actors in this industry, including regulatory authorities, government officials, representatives of sports gambling corporations and licensees of gambling premises/shops. Documentary analysis of policy/regulatory frameworks for gambling will also be employed. The mix of methods will accommodate the strengths of the candidate and will be negotiated with the supervisory team.

Supervisory Team

Dr Paul Darby / / [email protected]
Dr Paul Kitchin [email protected]

Key dates

Submission deadline
Friday 5 February 2021

Interview Date
Week Commencing 1 April 2021

Preferred student start date:
Mid-September 2021

Please see this link for application details –

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