Gambling footballers is not a new phenomenon, but these days with the stakes higher than ever in Europe’s biggest leagues the stars are leading the way in big-money sportsmen who like to flash the cash.
Having a bet is a terrific way to do that, with plenty of footballers going to the casinos and popping into bookmakers with their team-mates and friends to get a buzz when they’re out of the game.
For some, it can get too much and a number of footballers have experienced problems with betting such as former Newcastle United players Keith Gillespie and Michael Chopra, as well as BBC pundit and former Arsenal striker John Hartson.
“I started gambling when I was about 17, when I first played for Newcastle I was travelling with the first team,” said Chopra. “Players would gamble on the bus and I got involved. We would take thousands of pounds on to the bus, anything up to Ł30,000.
“It might change hands playing cards on the bus, we would go to the bank before and take out the money. It was part of team bonding. We were playing for real cash, if you were playing for Ł30,000 you would have it with you at the time.”
For the flashier footballers the casino is the place to be, especially when they can look suave and sophisticated – instead of being sat in the bookies in their club tracksuits the players – and their wives can get dressed up and have some fun too. With gambling easier than ever now players can continue the fun too, by logging onto their favourite website such as http://cad.spinpalace.com, where games including slots, roulette and blackjack can be enjoyed, something the footballers use to unwind ahead of the next training session or match.
These days sports betting is more or less forbidden for the elite players of the English football league system, and so more and more players will go to the casino or online to get their thrill and Spin Palace is the perfect place for that, giving such footballers plenty of opportunity to have some fun.
Sometimes, when attending in person this can backfire as Jamie Vardy and Phil Bardsley will attest to – one was caught racially abusing a fellow casino player while the other found himself photographed covered in banknotes. Not a good look.
However, both players have since turned the page with Vardy continuing to receive call-ups to the England squad although Bardsley has failed to make many appearances for Stoke City in the Premier League this season.
Vardy recently scored a superb goal in Leicester’s 2-2 draw at Southampton as his hot form continues while Bardsley will be hoping for better as the season progresses in the Potteries.