Top footballers enjoy the buzz of gambling
Posted on by Sean Williamson
Sports betting and Casino gambling is common place among footballers. A tell-all piece in the Radio Times this week talks about Michael Owen’s success – not just on the football pitch but in gambling.
The year 1998 saw Michael Owen’s debut for England, and was the same year that he bought his first two racehorses, Etienne Lady and Talk to Mojo. He had always loved the sport and had enjoyed the idea of betting ever since watching his dad place a 50p bet every Saturday.
In the 15 years since then Owen hasn’t lost his passion for horseracing or gambling, for that matter. His expertise in the field has only grown, with his pride and joy Brown Panther winning the Goodwood Cup this summer.
Despite his successes, Owen’s relationship with horseracing and sports betting has previously come under attack. It was claimed in 2003 that he had spent over £2 million on betting in just two years – an amount which he says is exaggerated – but whatever the true figure he insists that he has always maintained control.
To put this number in perspective, anyway, Michael Owen’s wealth is currently estimated at £40 million, so it is understandable that a £10 bet won’t thrill him as much as the £100 bet – still well within his budget. Despite having to balance his busy football punditry schedule with being a full-time husband and father (he now has four children), he still finds time to back two or three horses a day.
Michael Owen’s not the only footballer who enjoys the thrills of betting on the horses. At the stables where he keeps his own horses you can also find horses belonging to fellow footballers Wayne Rooney, Tom Cleverley and Charlie Adam.
Owen talks about the buzz he gets when betting on the horses and it can be of no surprise that many professional footballers agree with him; their usually competitive and thrill-seeking personalities combined with their enormous salaries enhance the appeal of gambling. However, it’s not just Sports Betting that gets many a footballer’s heart racing, but also the Casino.
Pro footballers and their Casino capers:
- It is widely known that Wayne Rooney likes taking trips to Las Vegas to enjoy the sun, the excitement and, of course, the Casinos. He was even caught on camera playing Craps when he should have been preparing for Euro 2012, not holidaying as a Vegas high roller.
- Former Manchester United forward Teddy Sheringham has made a name for himself in the realm of Poker since retiring from professional football in 2008; he won $28,530 in the 2012 World Series of Poker.
- French International and Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri popped over to Vegas this summer to celebrate his 26th birthday under the neon lights of the Las Vegas strip; rumour has it he won quite a bit of money on the Casino games, as well as enjoying the nightlife.
- Papiss Cisse, the Newcastle striker, caused a stir in July when he was photographed at a Blackjack table. Although he appeared to be simply blowing off a bit of steam, there was a lot of controversy as gambling is not permissible in his religion.
- Earlier this year Phil Bardsley who plays for Sunderland was photographed literally rolling in it at a Casino. After making some money at the Roulette table, Bardsley was caught clowning around by lying on the floor covered in £50 notes.