It seems that most celebs have their vices. You have your movie stars who are struggling with their drinking problem, musicians who do not hide that they do drugs, and your football players with their gambling addiction. Searching for that adrenaline rush many footballers go to online and brick and mortar casinos, hoping that they will have a winning hand. While ‘regular’ people gamble to earn money that will change their life for the better, football players already have a fat wallet, and they do it just for the thrill of it. Unfortunately, some of them have taken the wrong path and got sucked into the gambling world, investing more and more until they (almost) lost everything. Here are several football players who are not known just for their skills on the field, but for their gambling addiction as well.
After getting hooked on gambling, famous attacker Michael Chopra spent £20,000 on a daily basis. As he says himself, the moment he would step off the field he would grab his phone to see whether he had won. The more money he earned, the more money he spent on gambling. After signing the contract with Sunderland just for the sake of covering his debts, he agreed that he needed help.
There are so many stereotypes associated with Italian football players, and various scandals didn’t help Buffon set the record straight. This goalkeeper was often seen in casinos and was even suspected two times of making illegal bets. The first time was in 2006 before the FIFA World Cup and the second time was six years later. Reportedly, he invested about 1.5 million euros, but in the end, he was found innocent. Even with all of these scandals, he never bothered to hide his love for gambling. In fact, he was an ambassador of PokerStars for some time. If you are looking for online poker rooms of this sort, just click here.
Paul Merson was Arsenal’s midfielder and played in the English national team. His gambling addiction got so bad that he would lose up to £30 000 pounds in one match. He also had problems with alcohol and drugs but managed to overcome them much easier than his gambling addiction. Gambling was his kryptonite and he even became suicidal because of it. Just like Chopra, he finally agreed to get help in a specialized clinic of Tony Adams.
Winger of Stoke City was obsessed with races and dog races, and he also played a lot of poker. Eventually, he admitted that he had lost more than one and a half million pounds on gambling. Like many other players he became hooked on poker on the club bus, where footballers would easily lose a week’s salary on a game. Etherington says that it is hard to figure out which footballer has a gambling problem because while with alcohol and drugs the signs are clearly noticeable, with gambling you cannot just look at a person and tell that they are struggling.
David Bentley is an English former professional footballer who played as a winger for Tottenham and West Ham. His gambling problems got so bad, that he would make more than a hundred bets in just one day. Everything started when he was only 14 and visited the betting office. However, back then he didn’t earn a lot so he couldn’t bet so much. As his salary grew, his addiction got worse. When he started to earn good money, he began to bet on everything. At one point, all he needed in life was to bet, so the football went into the background.
While famous football stars could afford to lose thousands of dollars on a game, most people cannot. Therefore, don’t gamble with money you can’t afford to lose, or you will end up with a bitter taste in your mouth.