Players 'using loans to fund bets'

24 October 2013 10:01

Footballers are resorting to payday loans to fund their gambling habits, according to charity Sporting Chance.

Players are so desperate to bet they are taking out short-term loans before turning to the charity for help, chief executive Colin Bland told BBC Radio Five Live.

The charity, which helps sportsmen and women deal with addiction, has dealt with one footballer who has lost an estimated £7million in three years of gambling.

"It's not uncommon for us to have a footballer who has turned up that's in a circle of payday loans and gambling," said Bland.

"One of the (footballers) I was talking to sort of said 'actually one of the problems is I can afford to place these bets'.

"We've worked with players who have lost up to £7million in three years in gambling. But the particular young man I'm talking about said 'it's the quantity of bets I'm placing.

"I'm placing 50 bets a day. All I'm thinking about is my next bet or my last bet. It's affecting my life, it's affecting my performance, it's affecting my marriage. It's affecting what sort of father I can be'."

Bland added: "We've had sportsmen who have got caught in the scenario of taking out payday loans to place those bets. We've had several of those over the last couple of years. The vicious circle continues."

Sporting Chance works over a whole range of sports but is best known for helping former football players, such as former England international Paul Gascoigne, deal with addiction.

Source: PA

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