The life of a professional football (soccer) player is very exciting. They are playing a sport that they love and at the top level they are earning very large sums of money doing this. But for some, this lifestyle is not exciting enough for them.
Some football stars look elsewhere for additional excitement and often this is in the form of gambling at online casinos with instant payout and elsewhere. Here we will look at some real-life examples of how casino gambling took a hold on some of the stars.
Footballer who liked Casino Games – Eidur Gudjohnsen
Eidur Gudjohnsen was a very famous footballer. The Icelandic star played for Chelsea in England’s prestigious Premier League. Like a lot of professional footballers, Gudjohnsen suffered an injury during his career. This is when all of the trouble started for him.
When Gudjohnsen was injured, he had a lot of time to himself and this reportedly made him feel lonely and bored. He discovered the casino and he later stated that gambling on casino games gave him a similar adrenaline rush to scoring goals.
In only five months he lost hundreds of thousands in casinos. Gudjohnsen felt that the games in the casino were magical. They were a great relief for his boredom but he became addicted to casino games and soon he ended up chasing losses.
After recovering from his injury, the gambling in casinos continued. Things would get worse for Gudjohnsen when he moved to Barcelona FC. His gambling became out of control which resulted in him owing a number of European banks millions.
Gudjohnsen put a stop to his gambling addiction in 2009. He went on public record to confess his gambling addiction and vowed that he would neve gamble in casinos again. Soon after making this vow, he began coaching the under 21 Icelandic football team.
Casino Game Addiction for Michael Chopra
Michael Chopra was another famous footballer that played in the English Premier League. He played for 2 clubs in the North East of England, Sunderland and Newcastle United and also for Welsh club Cardiff City.
While he was a player at Newcastle, Chopra admitted that he had a gambling problem that centered around casino games. He said that this all started as a bit of fun with his team mates when they used to travel to away games on the bus. The stakes for the games he played on the bus got higher and higher. During one game the stake was over $50,000.
Poker was a real passion for Chopra. The higher the stakes in the game, the more that he enjoyed playing. He later announced that the high-stakes poker games on the team bus had resulted in him losing over $3.5 million.
Initially, Chopra could not control his addiction to gambling and this was affecting his whole family. Chopra’s father ended up selling the house so that gambling debts could be repaid. There were allegations from the British Horseracing Authority that he was involved in suspicious bets as well.
Chopra decided that he had to do something about his addiction to casino games, especially poker. He spent some time at a recovery facility called “Sporting Chance”. After a while, Chopra beat his gambling addiction before he retired from the game in 2016. Now he works as a broker and sports agent in Amsterdam.
Leeds United’s Dominic Matteo
Dominic Matteo was a famous footballer in the Premier League that had a problem with gambling. He liked casino games but his biggest problem was betting on horses. Matteo gambled so much that he amassed a debt of more than $1 million which resulted in him filing for bankruptcy.
It was not unusual for Matteo to bet $100,000 on a single horse in a race. He decided to write a book after struggling with his gambling addiction for a long time. Through this book and other work that he does, Matteo helps other footballers avoid gambling addiction.