The thrill of gambling on casino games such as online slots and table games such as poker can be something that many are able to enjoy and that includes footballers.
There are a number of footballers in the past who have been avid fans of betting in the past, with many having had their profiles well documented, and having been thrust into the spotlight.
However, some of them would not be averse to the bright lights as they have had careers that have made them stand out as superstars on the pitch.
Juventus legend, Gianluigi Buffon, is perhaps one of those that became famous on the pitch for his performances as a goalkeeper, but also earned himself a reputation as an avid gambler.
Of course, football fans around the world will know him as one of the best ‘keepers to have ever been between the sticks for club and country, but there may be some poker players who know him more for his ability with a set of playing cards.
In 2010, Buffon became an ambassador for online casino PokerStars but in 2006 and 2012, he was investigated for illegal gambling activities but was subsequently found innocent of the charges put against him.
There have been other footballers, though, who have enjoyed online casino games.
Phil Bardsley might be a member of the Burnley squad at the moment in the Premier League, but he was once with Sunderland until he was sacked because of his love for casino games.
The right-back was spotted at a casino in 2013 and pictured lying on the floor covered in £50 notes, which was shown all over the British press. Once Paolo Di Canio got a whiff of what had happened, he decided to fire him from the Black Cats.
Kevin Gillespie had a respectable career as a Premier League footballer, having played for numerous clubs, so earned a fair share of money. However, he admitted in 2017 that he once wagered £47,000 in one session as he cited the fact that the rise in technology and accessibility to online casinos “made him do it”.
Paul Merson is perhaps one of the most famous footballers to be known to like to gamble and play casino games, as the former Arsenal forward has spoken about it on numerous occasions. He claimed to have spent over £7 million on gambling and other activities.
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