SPORTS

Key figures from the Australian Football League worry about sports betting addiction of its players

TAGs: Australia, Australian Football League, sports betting

afl gamblingThere’s a certain level of worry coming out of the Australian Football League involving individuals, particularly the players themselves, getting knee deep in sports betting with some even getting a little too nutty with the kind of money they place on action bets.

Australia’s Herald Sun reports that AFL players involved in sports betting is becoming a “troubling” trend, particularly because of the easy access to sports betting websites combined with the amount of money these players are earning.

Putting two and two together, players are engaging in sports betting in such an extent that they’re wagering far more than what their bank accounts are capable of handling.

The advent of sports betting technology, particularly the easy access to sports betting websites and the prevailing use of smart phones, tablets, and laptops, as well as the high interest levels in international sports from AFL players have all become too enticing to pass up.

The general worry, according to North Melbourne coach Brad Scott, was that gambling addictions have become a more pressing problem for AFL players than alcohol or drugs.

Player manager Paul Connors also pointed out that AFL players, particularly those with enough money to burn, find exciting things to do on their downtime. “Players will be bored,” Connors said.

“And if they are not doing things outside footy they have downtime and they spend money and you just can’t stop that.”

The general concern appears to point to younger players more than the established veterans, particularly because of the former group’s penchant to get caught up in sports betting despite not having the funds that their older peers carry around with them.

“Younger guys can get caught up in it pretty quickly,” said recently retired Collingwood and Gold Coast player Josh Fraser. “$500 to a guy who has been in the system for eight to 10 years is not much, but for a guy just in the system, it is.”

Make no mistake, we fully support sports betting and see no problems with making sports bets, particularly if you have the funds to do so.

But there are always limits to the amount of action people should take and if it begins to border on some kind of addiction that some within the league have speculated, then it’s something that should be curtailed.

Or at the very least, be up for discussion.

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