Scotland – Following Brian Rice’s gambling addiction admission, who is the head coach at Hamilton Academical FC in the Scottish Premiership, an anonymous football player has reportedly commented on how deep gambling runs through the sport.
Footballers in Scotland are currently banned from any form of gambling on matches in any country, however the player said that footballers are engaging in sports betting on a regular basis:
“In pretty much every dressing room there’ll be players betting… I’ve heard of players betting on their team to win. Players betting against themselves? Not so much. I’ve heard of folk maybe doing the yellow card bet. You’re talking about four or five boys who wouldn’t, which shows you how bad it is.”
Sportsbooks currently sponsor a number of football teams in England, Wales and Scotland along with owning the naming rights to major tournaments in the game.
However, following Brian Rice’s relapse admission, people are calling on authorities to review the deals, some of which expire at the end of the 2019/2020 season.
The anonymous player commented further about sports gambling and the difficulties facing addicts like Rice:
“It must be quite hard to see this constant advertising when you maybe do have a problem… Folk will use accounts of partners or mothers or fathers. You still go into shops. As long as you’re putting money down, as long as nobody recognises you, it’s easily done. I used to go into shops most weeks. Unless you’re at the top level, it’s unlikely it’s going to come back to you.”
Further comments outlined details about his own gambling habits and the seriousness of the effects:
“You can see boys getting themselves in trouble. I would say quite a few… I looked at my bank balance one day and these huge sums going in and going straight into a betting account. That is so easy. It’s maybe smaller bets but it’s constant, constant, constant.”
The Scottish Premiership, which is the top flight football league in Scotland is currently sponsored by betting firm Ladbrokes, known as the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Ladbrokes, under the Ladbrokes Coral banner. is currently part of GVC Holdings; a British sports betting and gambling company listed on the London Stock Exchange.