Gambling Among Football Players

As we walk up to The Emirates Stadium, we may be signing chants or scrolling through our phones looking up team news. Some of us will be betting on the full-time result or the first scorer from the convenience of our smartphone. But have you considered how professional players gamble? Are they even allowed to bet on football?

Are Footballers Allowed to Gamble on Football?

Football players are not permitted to make sports bets that they can influence, ask Joey Barton or Daniel Sturridge who was recently banned for four months because of a bet he placed. Sturridge probably thought he had gotten away with it, just like many other players who used inventive ways to place football bets.

Some of the most iconic attempts at getting around the rules include Matt Le Tissier, who placed a bet that the opposing team would win the first throw-in. At kick-off, Le Tissier dried to spray a bad pass out of play but messed up and then spent the next seconds running around trying to win it back and kick it out.

Another exciting event that most readers will remember was when Sutton United faced Arsenal in the FA Cup. The opposition reserve keeper was known to have a few extra pounds than the regular elite athlete, and odds started circulating that he would be seen eating a pie on the bench. The keeper in question, Wayne Shaw, saw the odds and tucked into a pasty as the game was televised, also interesting – not a pie.

Legal Gambling Among Players

Just because football players are not allowed to bet on football games they have influence over, does not mean they cannot enjoy gambling. Many players are known to like the casino and online casinos. Browse some players’ Twitter accounts, and you will even find players uploading images of their casino ventures.

However, research back in 2016 found that players who gambled off the pitch were affected when on it. The study examined players from Premier League teams after betting on team buses or to kill time when bored before a game. The results found that players who lost before the game often played worse during the match.

Players Who Have Struggled with Gambling

Some players do not hide their previous problems with gambling. They use their platform to educate others and make sure their gambling is safe and healthy. Some examples include:

  • Michael Chopra: The ex-Newcastle striker has reported gambling on the team bus and even had loan sharks chasing him throughout his career. It is also told that when he signed for Sunderland, he did it because they were offering a generous signing bonus which would clear much of his debt.
  • Eidur Gudjohnson: The Chelsea striker lost close to half a million pounds through gambling in a short period. He put the significant loss down to gambling while injured.
  • Dietmar Hamann: The Liverpool icon wrote in his autobiography about losing close to £300,000 on a single cricket match, but turned his habits around.

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