Gambling: Why are footballers obsessed with it?

Now that the football season has finished many of our sporting stars will be considering how they can spend their outrageous salaries.

And whilst a few footballers will be splashing their cash on massive mansions and luxury sportscars, it seems that some others will take the opportunity to have a gamble down at their local casino.

Most tabloid newspapers like to show off paparazzi photographs of football stars emerging from gambling establishments in the early hours of the night.

And there can be few more glamorous nights out on the town than the one that featured the likes of Messi, Pique and Fabregas in a casino in Barcelona.


Bardsley gloating

Whilst we can only speculate just how much these superstars were spending on the roulette table, it’s hoped that they managed to be a little more circumspect about their winnings than Phil Bardsley.

When the Scottish international star was with Sunderland he made the somewhat ill-advised decision to pose under a pile of £50 notes after a roulette win.

And whilst anybody who’s played mobile roulette at a website like LadyLucks will know this winning feeling, we’d probably realise that Bardsley’s photograph should have probably stayed out of the newspapers – particularly as Sunderland were fighting for their Premier League survival at the time!


Rooney not so lucky

But some of our Premier League stars haven’t had quite the same amount of luck as Bardsley.

Whilst Wayne Rooney may be one of our all-time goalscoring greats, it looks like the star failed to replicate his talents at a casino in Manchester where he managed to blow £500,000 in two hours by playing roulette and blackjack.

If that wasn’t bad enough, there are also the amusing reports that his wife, Colleen Rooney, has apparently quashed his planned £140 million move to China as a result of his ill-advised casino escapades.


A safe haven

Despite these embarrassing escapades, it’s still apparent that casinos offer our footballing stars a safer place to gamble than other off-limits areas.

We all know how Joey Barton was handed an 18-month ban by the FA as a result of his football betting antics, and this tale is word of warning to other players not to follow the Burnley star’s fate.

And whilst this may mean that Barton’s professional career is effectively over, he still has the option of staying at home with some mobile roulette if he really feels the urge to gamble again.


Written by Bob Gunn

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