Residents in Awerial say they are concerned over resumption of betting activities in Mingkaman town.
In October, the commissioner placed a ban after a number of learners had started abandoning classes to bet and play computer games.
Such establishments, according to residents, attracted young school children, particularly boys – making some of them “part-timers” in school – prompting the commissioner to issue the order.
Weeks later, residents noticed that the activities have resumed and still engaging learners amidst examinations.
“We were happy when they were banned because they take a lot of times for our children. Now no one is talking why they reopened. This is something destroying our children,” argued Peter Achol, a pastor.
Another resident, Joseph Nyuon, says the licenses of the establishments should be revoked.
“A child without money to bet can easily steal to pay for the ticket. I would like the authorities to review this order for the sake of our children,” he stated.
Reacting to the complaints, Awerial County Commissioner Philip Mawut Garang said he has permitted the resumption of betting but says only children below 18 years will not be allowed to bet.
“We realized that betting is something that is allowed officially in the country, and it is happening worldwide,” Mawut told Mingkaman FM. “We lifted that ban and we only cautioned that children below 18 should not be allowed to participate.”