Although they make plenty of money and certainly aren’t allowed to bet on the sport itself, many footballers seemingly can’t resist a flutter, with some big profile names known to visit the casino, racetrack or bookmakers.
We’ve profiled a few of the most well-known players who are known to bet big when they aren’t on the field.
Joey Barton and his (lack of) gambling skills
Joey Barton was recently plastered all over the papers after getting caught betting directly on games he was involved in and it looks like the ex-England and Burnley player won’t play again thanks to the length of his ban.
Although the bets were low and in no way good, Barton was charged heavily as a lesson to other professional sports people when it comes to gambling on outcomes they could directly influence.
Wayne Rooney’s expensive night at the casino
Although Barton was a rare example of the rules being broken, footballers can still gamble without getting into trouble by visiting a casino or choosing any sport that isn’t football.
Rooney is no stranger to poor publicity, with plenty of press outings in his formative years, but none that cost him as a much as a trip to a Manchester casino in March this year.
The England and Everton international had just played against FC Rostov whilst still at Manchester United and decided to enjoy a late night trip to the casino that lasted into the early hours.
Rooney allegedly switched between Roulette and Blackjack, dropping an astonishing £500,000 before calling it a night.
Despite this being an incredible amount of money, it roughly equates to two weeks’ wages before tax, so we’re sure Wayne can live with that one.
Maybe if he’d stuck to online casino slot games, such as the fantastic selection found over at Slots of Vegas, he might have come away with more success.
The amount of choice available is staggering, but often the most appealing areas of online slots games are the ease of access and the anonymity, they certainly would have kept Rooney out of the headlines!
Michael Owen’s racehorse obsession
Former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle striker Michael Owen loved a trip to the races so much he decided to spend a fair chunk of his career earnings on opening up his own racehorse stables in his native Cheshire.
Owen now has a selection of thoroughbreds that race all over the world, with the one time England striker even picking up a few coveted trophies along the way.
Gianluigi Buffon’s passion for poker
Despite narrowly missing out on a Champion’s League medal earlier this year, Buffon has cemented himself as Italy’s greatest every goalkeeper, winning pretty much everything put in front of him.
Off the pitch however, he is known to be a bit of a shark, taking part in both private games and pro tournaments throughout Europe.
Although all of these players have tons of cash at hand and glittering careers behind them, it just goes to show that some forms of gambling are irresistible, no matter who you are.
If you’re a professional sports-person and reading this, just be sure to play by the rules, unlike Joey Barton, or at least stick to gaming online to avoid being spotted by the press or indeed the FA!