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Footballers and gambling

When they are not wowing fans with their football skills, players are often in 5-star hotels having fun.


The very best sports personalities appear on TV shows, and take foreign trips to places their fans can only dream of. Sometimes though, players relax at home and have fun playing casino games.


In this article, we look at the top, present and former Liverpool players, known for their love for gambling. We also feature a few renowned premier League stars who never played at Anfield but are famous for their gambling habits.


Dietmar Hamann


Hamann was one of the most influential midfielders in the early 2000s. He stayed seven years at Anfield, playing in 253 matches and scoring eight goals. Outside of football, the German admits to having a penchant for gambling.


At one point, Hamann placed a £288, 400 bet on a Cricket game between Australia and South Africa. Australia lost the game, leaving the former player with little choice but to reduce the amounts spent on betting.


While many players wish they had the money to gamble such high amounts, Hamann's advice is to bet on what you can manage to lose. Plenty of Australian and New Zealand casinos offer games wagered with as little as $1.


This Kiwislots free guide explores the best gambling sites from the two countries. The sites are, however, accessible to players from all parts of the world. 


Dominic Matteo


Unlike regular sports bettors, players tend to go hard on their betting addictions. Former Liverpool defender Dominic Matteo is a prime example. After serving the club brilliantly for seven years, the Scot picked up a gambling hobby that left him bankrupt in the end.


Like many bettors, Matteo started off with small bets. Thanks to his huge wealth, he increased his bankroll, placing bets after bets. Sometimes he won big, sometimes he lost big. Sometimes he won and lost big in the same race meeting, such as the time he lost £100k on an even money favourite only to win it back on another even money favourite in the next race. 


Eventually it came to a head when Matteo was declared bankrupt after running up losses of £1million . 


Daniel Sturridge


While some people share their love for casinos, most of them choose to remain quiet. Sports authorities don’t take it kindly when active players admit to betting after all.  This November, forward Daniel Sturridge made the headlines after it was alleged he was involved in an illegal bet last January.


According to reports, substantial amounts were wagered on Sturridge's next club. A move to Inter Milan fell through and the forward ended up at West Brom. A large sum was placed with a Midlands bookmaker and the FA have charged Sturridge with breaching their betting rules. The 29-year-old had been given until Nov. 20 to speak about up the situation but recently asked for more time.


Paul Merson


Famous for his time at Arsenal, Merson also played for Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Walsall. He was a successful player with all his clubs, scoring 128 goals in total. After he was done with football, the now TV pundit took onto casino gambling for pleasure.


Merson combined sports betting and casino games. He could gamble tens of thousands at a time, even when on a losing streak. When he couldn't handle the losses anymore, the former striker took to drugs. His problems later worsened but he was helped out of it.


Of course, Merson's problems worsened because of a combination of drugs, alcohol abuse, and compulsive betting, but it highlights the importance of taking responsibility while gambling. Today, Merson looks back at his problems and jokes about them. He advises gambling fans to be cautious with their bankrolls and seek help if betting becomes a problem.


Players that want to save big on their bankrolls take advantage of offers. They use every free spin given and only spend their money to increase the bets. Zamsino’s guide to casino bonuses helps players find gambling sites with free spins and bonuses. That way, you can enjoy games on different sites without spending much of your personal cash.


Michael Chopra 


A great striker in his prime, Chopra is one of the many premier league stars that gambled at some point of their lives. Funny enough, the former Sunderland and Cardiff ace started betting while on a Newcastle bus. He was just 17 years old at the time and could afford bets worth £30,000 and above.


A few wins and losses afterward, Chopra was playing games with his debtors. He owed £80,000 in gambling money at one time and had to spend his signing fee after moving to Sunderland to pay debtors. He lost in excess of £2 million while at his bottom but later overcame the challenges. 


Joey Barton


Not many famous players admit they are terrible at what they do. Former Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton opened up last year about his love for gambling after he was charged for illegal betting. The incidents occurred between 2006 and 2013 as he played for City, Newcastle, QPR, and Marseille.


During the seven-year period, Barton illegally placed 1,260 bets on Football related activities. Surprisingly, the midfielder lost most of them and in the end he was fined and forced into retirement for doing it illegally.


After his ban, Barton became open about his betting habits. He showed some of the games he gambled, losing 27 out of 30 bets at one time. 


Keith Gillespie


If you have ever dreamt of being a high-roller punter, you'll probably love a part of Gillespie's story. A former United and Newcastle player, the winger began betting as soon as he hit 18. He had been projected to become one of the greatest players of his generation and so clubs paid him handsomely.


In his spare time, Gillespie enjoyed watching horse racing games and betting on some. As his career rose, Gillespie invested more in gambling. He would get out of practice and head straight to betting. With time, the player was gambling £100,000 a day. His love for betting turned into an addiction and gambled away over £7 million in the end. 


John Terry


Chelsea legend John Terry in 2016 made his last bet after a compulsive addiction cost him more money than he spent. The defender started betting in 2006, placing small wagers on horse, dogs and football matches. Terry never broke any laws while at it and always did for fun. 


Apart from Sports betting, Terry made occasional visits to Las Vegas where the wagered thousands. 


To Conclude


Our own sporting heroes enjoy the simple pleasures of lives as regular people do. Footballers are the most famous for spending thousands on bets. Some have spent millions and earned a lot more. Sometimes though, the players end up losing their money and quitting the game. Many players choose to gamble quietly, which is why we may never know about every Liverpool athlete that enjoys betting. 

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