The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), the main opposition party in Ghana, has found itself in the middle of controversy due to apparent inconsistencies in its stance on sports betting.

The party’s National Organiser, George Opare Addo and the Minority Leader in Parliament have expressed divergent opinions, drawing criticism from various quarters.

Cassiel Ato Forson, the Minority Leader, has been a vocal advocate for the complete ban of sports betting in the country.
He argues that sports betting has had a detrimental impact on Ghanaian youth and calls for stricter regulations to restrict its availability.
Dr Forson believes that sports betting contributes to gambling addiction and can lead to financial ruin for vulnerable individuals.

The 2021 Budget presented by the government estimates an annual revenue loss of over GHS 300 million due to leakages in the gaming industry.
As a result, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry for the Interior have been directed to co-supervise the gaming industry and work with stakeholders to formulate a comprehensive policy to increase revenue from this sector.

However, the then Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee suggested that instead of taxing individuals and businesses, the government should utilize the Tax Exemption Bill to generate revenue.
He argues that this bill alone can contribute 2.5% of GDP.

In contrast, the NDC National Youth Organiser is currently pushing for the removal of the 10 percent tax imposed on sports betting activities.

The NDC has announced that it will organize protests and occupy government buildings. The party’s National Youth Organiser, George Opare Addo popularly called Pablo states that the tax is burdensome and unfairly targets the country’s youth and the betting industry as a whole.

The NDC plans to utilize various forms of activism, including demonstrations, advocacy, and civic engagements, to voice their opposition to the tax.
They are calling on the government to reverse its decision, which they perceive as corrupt.

To showcase their dissent, the NDC intends to picket at the Ministry of Finance and occupy government offices nationwide. They also mentioned the possibility of occupying Parliament and other government agencies.

The National Youth Organiser believes that the tax burden on sports betting is unfair and discourages potential investors from entering the market.
The party argues that the tax reduction will stimulate economic growth and create job opportunities in the industry.

This discrepancy in the NDC’s stance on sports betting has raised questions about the party’s internal cohesion and its commitment to addressing societal issues.
Critics argue that the conflicting opinions within the party indicate a lack of a unified approach towards finding a sustainable solution to the challenges associated with sports betting.

The issue of sports betting has become a matter of concern in Ghana, with debates surrounding its impact on the youth and society as a whole.
Proponents of sports betting argue that it provides an avenue for revenue generation and entertainment, while opponents highlight the potential negative consequences, such as addiction and financial instability.

In response to the NDC’s internal divisions on the matter, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has seized the opportunity to criticize the opposition party.
NPP spokespersons have accused the NDC of flip-flopping on important policy matters, casting doubt on their ability to provide effective leadership.

The controversy surrounding the NDC’s conflicting positions on sports betting is likely to intensify as the party faces pressure from both its critics and supporters to clarify its official stance.
Ghanaians will be keenly observing how the NDC addresses this issue and whether it can present a unified front on matters of national concern.

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