Former game betting business employees on impact of closure

By Sailu Bah
Some of the people who were working in the game betting businesseskAIOS
that have been closed down by an order from the office of the
president, almost 45 days ago, explained how this unexpected
development is impacting on their lives.As family heads or the sole breadwinners in their respective
households, these former workers have revealed that they have been
rendered unemployed overnight and deprived of income to support their
families. It is also said that those who were employed by these
operations and affected by the closure are more than one hundred and
are mostly women.

Speaking to one of the former employees, who lives in Banjul, on
Monday, 13 April, this young lady, who prefers anonymity, said she is
in her early 20s and was the only one in her family who was working.
She said she picked up the job just few months before the unfortunate
development resulting in the closure of the game company she worked
for.

“I am the eldest daughter in the family and have lost my father a few
years ago. I was the one supporting the family with the meager income
I earned from my work as a kiosk attendant. Although the salary was
not enough but it has been covering few important things,” she said.

Another woman who has been working in one of the kiosks in Serekunda
explained how the income she has been earning used to support her to
take care of certain basis needs.
“It used to cover some gaps in the upkeep of the family. At least
the mere fact that I was seen going work gave me a certain kind of
respect in the society.  It has been providing me with income derived
from the sweat of my labour with dignity,” she added.

She said since the closure she has been sitting down at home as it is
very difficult to get a job.
“Since I cannot just be sitting down to wait for the day when my
company would be allowed to continue its operations again, I am
searching for another job. But to be honest with you, it is very
difficult to find work in this country. Live is very tough for me
now,” she admitted.

A middle aged man, who explained that he was involved in game betting
as a means of supporting the daily needs of his family, said he has
been devastated.

“This game betting was part of the ‘Taff Taff’ that most family heads
were engaged in on a daily basis to sustain their families. Now that
it has been stopped, some of us without any means of earning monthly
income have been turned into ‘civilised’ beggars. We borrow or beg
every day in order to provide fish money or take care of other needs
such as lunch money for the kids going to school, etc,” he disclosed.

The laid-off workers appeal to the authorities to reconsider the
decision or find alternative employment opportunities for them.