Residents of Ndjamena, the Chadian capital, are currently captivated by the gaming fever, a phenomenon encouraged by the all-out launch on the national market of products like Premier Lotto, Yip Yip and Paris Foot.
Throughout the day, we can see young people and old people queuing in front of kiosks to buy these products supposed to make rich in no time, any individual eking out a living.
Is this fascination due to the lowness of the bet, which amounts to 100 CFA francs? Still, Lotto, recently introduced in Chad and which consists in making predictions, drains the largest number of players.
“When you play with 100 CFA francs and you lose, you get your money back. If you put 500 CFA francs for example, there is a possibility that you win something,” a young bettor says. "With Lotto, another bettor adds, numbers range from 1 to 99, and if you make the right combination, you win big.”
A soldier, who is very familiar with the lottery, whose results are published at least three times a day, recognizes to have won, one day, 25,000 CFA francs after making a bet of 5,000 CFA francs. But seized by cupidity, he made a new bet of 5,000 CFA francs but instead of a gain he lost by winning only 1,000 CFA francs.
He warned those addicted to lottery: “I do not encourage people to play these games of chance. It’s true that at times you can win something but when you get into the habit you become passionate and you can no longer kick the habit.”
However, this caution did not succeed in convincing Ndjamena people to abstain from gambling, as they continue to storm the small kiosks located in the neighborhoods of the capital. Among these addicts, you find housewives, who, on their way to the market, to buy food for the family, are often tempted to try their luck with the money, instead.
The misfortunes are numerous on this subject as this woman named Louise confesses: “One day, I went to the market with 2,000 CFA francs. I stopped to try the lotto as my neighbors were talking too much about it. I made the combination of numbers with the money. I did not win, so I had to go into debt with my friends to make it out.”
As for this man, he deplores his wife’s propensity to play: “I have a woman who believes that playing this lottery will open the door to success. She uses what is dedicated to the family foodstuffs, which always creates problems between us.
For their part, kiosk managers denounce the attitude of some of these women who, after they losing, ask to get their money back. “This creates big problems between us,” a lottery kiosk owner explains, with a smile.