The world is full of people who love sports betting and gambling. Whether we talk about poker, horse betting football betting, each game has a huge fanbase. Since the footballers are people too, it’s no surprise that there are a number of famous footballers whose love for gambling is well-known to the public.
The following are 7 famous footballers who just couldn’t keep it to themselves their love for the casino games and other types of gambling:
- Paul Merson
Paul Merson, who started his career with Arsenal is a well-known personality in professional football. He helped to achieve multiple league championships until 1994 when he showed his dark side and admitted to having addictions to alcohol, drugs, and gambling.
Although Merson seems to have overcome his addictions, he estimates to have lost as much as £7 million in gambling alone!
- Joey Barton
Burnley footballer Joey Barton has had an amazing career in the Premium League and other top tournaments. However, his penchant for gambling has left his career on the verge of ending as he was recently banned for 18 months by the English Football Association for involvement in unauthorized betting.
Baron admitted to having placed as many as 1,260 bets on football matches played during 2006 and 2013. Footballer players are not allowed to place bets on their own matches.
- Phil Bardsley
Without defender Bardsley’s contribution to the goal in the penultimate match of the Premier League (2012-13), the Black Cats couldn’t succeed to draw with Southampton. However, since the occasion was apparently for too special for him which is why he decided to mark it with a unique celebration.
Bardsley went out gambling (for which he was already well known for) and was later found lying on the casino floor covered in £50 notes. It was a spectacle indeed. However, the manager Paolo Di Canio was clearly displeased when he saw the photos in the papers the next day. In fact, he decided to fire the Scottish defender altogether.
- Dominic Matteo
Many footballers have had problems with gambling, but Dominic Matteo probably has some of the worst experiences of all. He was extremely fond of sports betting and said he once bet £200,000 on a single horse race, although the bet actually won. This doesn’t change the fact that in the big picture he admitted to having come under a whopping debt of £1,000,000 due to gambling. His problems became so grave that he was declared bankrupt in 2015.
- Gigi Buffon
It’s no secret that the Italian football had been often involved in match-fixing scandals and corruption in gambling. The Italian footballer Gigi Buffon was also once investigated on illegal gambling allegations in not one, but rather two separate instances- one in 2006 and the other one in 2012. However, all charges were dropped later on after he was found innocent.
Gigi Buffon was known to have a liking for poker and was even appointed by PokerStars to promote their products.
- David Bentley
Born in England, David Bentley started his career with Arsenal and later joined Tottenham after which he joined West Ham. Apart from the obvious love for the sport of football, he was also fond of betting.
Bentley said that he placed his first best when he was just 14 years old. As he grew older and started making tons of money he moved to horse betting, poker, and other games like online blackjack etc. However, he realized his favorite pastime has turned into an addiction and decided to quit it, something which he says wouldn’t have been possible without the support of his girlfriend.
- Keith Gillespie
Although now retired, Keith Gillespie was once one of the top footballers of famous teams like Manchester United, Newcastle United, etc. Although he was terrific in sports, he wasn’t apparently good at keeping his habits under control as he was declared bankrupt in 2010, which he blamed on his gambling addiction. He estimated to have lost £7,000,000 due to the same.