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Why is Gambling an Issue for Professional Football

Betting is a common activity. Everybody would like to make an easy profit just by making a right guess. Every country has the right to decide whether and how to legalise gambling.

That is why there are places where gamblers cannot rely on the local laws and therefore should avoid. England, however, takes any form of gambling seriously as the country has one of the strictest regulations regarding services and customer support.

Gamblers know that British operators can guarantee them safety, security and a fair game-play. Although every casino and sportsbook offer gaming options that follow the laws of the country, some games are more popular than others. UK punters enjoy two things – sports and bingo. The current site is about football, while the operators listed on the homepage of are for bingo betting online.

In a certain way, making a football wager is nothing different from playing the lottery. However, there is a difference if you look into the basics. The game of bingo is entirely about making a bet on your own luck as the outcome is determined by a random number generator. Every person is free to play bingo as long as they follow the rules, but the same does not go for football.

Unlike the lottery games of TopBingoWebsites, sports matches have nothing to do with randomness. The chances and opportunities in football depend on the players who are professionally trained to play the game. Since the sport is about teamwork, those who decide to bet on a match must consider the state of the main players and the team as a whole. Sports fans are the only ones who can make a wager, as any involvement from a person who is professionally connected to the game is banned.

The Suspension of Joey Barton

When a member of a club or the FA makes a gamble on a football match, he is either misusing his rights or sabotaging the event to make a profit. This is both unfair and unsportsmanlike, but resisting the temptation is becoming hard to overcome, especially with the massive involvement of bookmakers in the sport.

Joey Barton of the English Premier League is one of the latest victims of the gambling addiction. Since 2014, FA has prohibited professional players from betting on football matches. Barton knew about that and committed a breach of the rules hoping he wouldn’t get caught.

Because of his actions, Barton was heavily sanctioned by the Football Association in April. The former member of Burnley received an 18 months ban from all football events. After being suspended from the club, Barton admitted in an interview how serious his addiction was. He stated that since the year 2004, he has placed more than 15,000 wagers not only on football but across a wide variety of sports.

Barton Talks About the Problem

Regarding the topic, there are other footballers, who suffered bigger losses from gambling. Paul Merson, the Former star of Arsenal, confessed to losing 7 million pounds in two decades as a gambler. Eidur Gudjohnsen, famous for winning a Champions League as a member of Barcelona FC, has wasted 6 million pounds on bets.

As you can see, Barton is not the only footballer who turned into a gambling addict, but he is one of the few to pay attention to the fact how unhealthy is the relationship between football and gambling.

The 34-year-old British citizen complained that the FA is not serious when handling the culture of gambling in football. According to him, the organisation does not realise how dependent it has become with the presence of gambling companies. He believes that, instead of putting the blame entirely on the players who bet, the football association is also at fault because it doesn’t limit the broadcasting of betting ads during sports matches.

Barton said that there’s something that the FA has to accept – the big difference you will see once you compare the rules and laws of the football association to the culture of the game nowadays. He also mentioned that nobody could watch football at home or in the stadium, without being bombarded by betting companies through marketing. He was referring to advertisements and sponsorship notifications, as well as the broadcasters, who don’t miss a chance to talk about their gambling preferences.

Football Players and Bookmakers

It’s true that some footballers are quite vulnerable to wagering, as they find themselves surrounded by bookmakers. Ladbrokes is among the largest betting companies in Britain and is an official partner of the FA. The sportsbook is not the only one that takes part in the game of football on the island. Out of the 20 teams in the Premier League, ten have a gambling operator on their side as a shirt sponsor. Betting opportunities are literally everywhere on the football field in England.

After Barton was suspended, Matthew Etherington, a former footballer from the Premier League, informed the gambling operators that they must not accept bets from footballers, who are considered to be vulnerable. Etherington, who has played for the teams of West Ham, Tottenham and Stoke City, has stated that his gambling addiction caused him to lose 1.5 million pounds.

In a live interview on BBC Radio 5, the Englishman said that while he was a professional player, he was targeted by bookmakers. Etherington explained that the representatives of gambling companies, that were visiting the club, told him that he could bet with them. According to Etherington, the bookmakers knew that he and his teammates were young, vulnerable, and of course with a lot of money at hand. As the former footballer looks back, he believes that the betting companies were acting irresponsibly.

The Opinion of Kenny MacAskill

Kenny MacAskill, a writer in the Scotsman newspaper, thinks that the suspension of Barton points out that the issue of football with gambling is growing. It is clear to him that the problem doesn’t concern just the sport but the whole society as well. The writer doesn’t find it normal that bookies occupy the High Streets, while the rest of the shops around them are closing, which is why avoiding football on TV is impossible.

MacAskill believes that instead of providing a solution to the gambling problem, the Gambling Act of  2005 led to a 600 percent increase in televised adverts. His data shows that 1.4 million commercials are being aired every year, and betting companies are taking advantage of that to reach out to a bigger audience.

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Article title: Why is Gambling an Issue for Professional Football

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