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Gambling in sport: ‘Betting in dressing rooms common’


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Gambling in sport: ‘Betting in dressing rooms common’

A Scottish Professional Football League player has told BBC Scotland players betting in dressing rooms is common.Hamilton Academical head coach Brian Rice faces Scottish FA betting charges later this month.”You go around most dressing rooms or pretty much every dressing room and there’ll be players betting,” said the anonymous player.”You’re talking about four or five…

Gambling in sport: ‘Betting in dressing rooms common’

Football

A Scottish Professional Football League player has told BBC Scotland players betting in dressing rooms is common.

Hamilton Academical head coach Brian Rice faces Scottish FA betting charges later this month.

“You go around most dressing rooms or pretty much every dressing room and there’ll be players betting,” said the anonymous player.

“You’re talking about four or five boys who wouldn’t’; which shows you how bad it is.”

Betting firms sponsor the three main tournaments in the men’s game in Scotland.

“It must be quite hard to see this constant advertising when you maybe do have a problem,” said the player. “Just about everybody’s got a smartphone.

“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.

“I’ve heard of players betting on games in terms of their team to win, if they’re really confident. Players betting against themselves? Not so much. I’ve heard of folk maybe doing the yellow card bet.

“I would say quite a few [have a gambling problem]. If someone has a problem or an addiction, they’re not going to go and flaunt it.”

The player explained support is on offer from PFA Scotland, who meet with players during the season to make them aware of SFA rules.

“They’re almost pleading with players to stop,” he said.

“Only when boys see other folk getting into bother it would maybe strike them a little bit. They need to try and make examples of being shown to help rather than make examples to be punishing.

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“Somebody gets caught, there’s a wee bit of a rift about it, maybe folk will quieten down and then maybe a month later it’s just back to the way it was.

“You can see boys getting themselves in trouble with betting and maybe not controlling it. You can see how it destroys other people’s lives as well.

“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. I maybe looked at that and got a fright. It’s certainly been a problem in the past for me. You just want help folk that are struggling with it.”

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