Top Football Stars Who Gambled During Their Playing Time

In light of the recent revelations that some of the biggest football stars in the English Premier League have been gambling, fans are beginning to question what is really going on behind the scenes.

While some players may see it as simply a harmless pastime, others could be risking their careers and reputation by indulging in such activities. Gambling whether online or in casinos is becoming a very popular trend to catch fun and football stars aren’t taking back sit either.

As internet technology advances, new casinos are opening their digital shops and that makes gambling easy and convenient. Here is the place to see the latest ones accepting Indian players. In essence, there could be many more addicted gamblers who are not on our list because they gamble private -online.

With so much money at stake, it will be interesting to see how this scandal of football stars’ gambling activities unfolds.

Here are five of the top EPL football stars who gambled.

  • Wayne Rooney

The former England captain and Manchester United star have been embroiled in a number of gambling scandals over the years. In 2005, he was fined £5,000 for betting on Premier League matches. Then, in 2006, it was revealed that he had amassed debts of over £700,000 through gambling. Most recently, in 2013, Rooney was accused of placing bets on horse races. While he has denied any wrongdoing, the allegations have certainly damaged his reputation.

  • Diego Costa

The Chelsea striker has been no stranger to controversy on the pitch, and it seems that his off-field antics are just as controversial. In 2015, it was claimed that Costa had lost £2 million pounds in a casino in Spain. He is also said to have a gambling problem, which has caused him to fall out with his family.

  • Michael Chopra

Michael Chopra is a former professional footballer who enjoyed a career throughout the various divisions of English football. However, he often struggled away from the game, recently admitting to losing around £2 million through gambling. The striker also admitted that he joined Sunderland to pay off his debts, which started out when he was just a teenager at their rivals Newcastle, where he would bet up to £30,000 with other players en route to matches. The former striker additionally faced severe charges from the British Horseracing Authority for suspicious betting activity. He did, however, spend time at the Sporting Chance clinic, a charity set up by Arsenal legend Tony Adams to provide an addiction and recovery facility for athletes. After England, Chopra spent time in Scotland and India with Alloa Athletic and Kerala Blasters FC respectively before retiring in 2016.

  • Joey Barton

Joey Barton was a difficult customer for the Football Association (FA) over the years, both on and off the pitch. In 2016, after ten years of betting on football matches, Barton was finally charged with breaching FA rules regarding gambling. The former midfielder reportedly placed 1,260 bets over that period and was given an 18-month ban for his actions. Barton had previously been given a one-match ban for breaking Scottish Football Association (SFA) betting rules during his spell at Rangers. Barton is another player who has turned to management after his playing career and is currently in charge of League One outfit Fleetwood Town.

  • Paul Merson

A former professional footballer who played for Arsenal, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Portsmouth, among others. He is now a television pundit for Sky Sports. Merson started his career at Arsenal, where he made his first-team debut in 1986. He went on to play for a variety of other clubs before retiring from professional football in 2006. Throughout his career, Merson battled alcohol and drug addiction, as well as a gambling addiction. In 2006, he admitted to having a debt of around £7 million as a result of his gambling. Today, Merson is sober and works as a Sky Sports pundit. He is also an advocate for gambling reform.

  • Andros Townsend

Andros Townsend is a professional footballer who plays for Crystal Palace in the English Premier League. He has also played for England’s national team. In 2013, he was banned from football for four months due to gambling activities during a loan spell at Birmingham City. This caused him to miss the 2013 European Championship with England’s under-21 squad. However, he has since bounced back and become a key player for Crystal Palace, helping them achieve mid-table finishes in the Premier League in recent seasons.

  • David Bentley

David Bentley, former England international, reportedly focused on gambling on greyhounds, horse racing, and online poker instead of football betting. His gambling addiction led to him placing up to 100 bets a day. He began gambling when he was only 14 years old and admitted that his gambling days began when playing in Arsenal’s academy. The former Tottenham Hotspur man is involved in several businesses across Europe in the entertainment sector. He also oversees a bespoke flooring company. Consequently, David Bentley has come a long way since his days of addiction and poor decision-making. He is now a successful businessman with a promising future ahead of him.

  • Eidur Gudjohnsen

Eidur Gudjohnsen enjoyed a trophy-laden career that spanned two decades, but he is another to have fallen victim to the lures of gambling. He once admitted to losing almost half a million pounds in just a few months, with roulette wheels, slots and blackjack his games of choice when he missed out on football due to injury. The journeyman had stints in Greece, China and Belgium in the latter stages of his career, and has since turned to coaching, firstly as an assistant manager for the Iceland under-21 side, before becoming manager at Icelandic football club FH. Despite his struggles with gambling, Gudjohnsen can look back on a hugely successful career in which he won a host of major trophies, including the Premier League, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup.

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Also Read: Apuia Ralte travels to Belgium for a training stint with Lommel SK

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