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Is Gambling a Problem in Sport?

There are many types of people that engage in gambling activities, but some may find it surprising that the majority of athletes that earn money for playing sports are some of the top gamblers in the world. Athletes are competitive individuals and earn millions from professional sports. One of the things that compares to the rush of earning so much money is putting that money om the line by gambling, which is why it should come as no surprise to learn that many athletes take part in high stakes gambling quite often. From playing some of the new vibrant slot games to enjoying the thrills of table games, athletes make up for a huge percentage of gamblers.

Top Athletes with Gambling Problems


Through the years, there have been some athletes that have made millions from their careers, only to lose it all by gambling. Gambling in sports stories are not uncommon and players like Antoine Walker, who made over $100 million, lost his career earnings by gambling. Basketball star Charles Barkley admitted to a gambling problem in 2006, costing him around $10 million. In 2008, Barkley has a $400,000 debt owed to the Wynn Casino. Think Jordan just retired from basketball? Actually, he had a severe gambling problem that lead to a suspension, but instead of handing down that suspension and embarrassing the star, he was allowed to retire.

Pete Rose threw away his star standing when he was found to be betting on baseball games that involved the Reds, the team he was managing at the site. It was believed that Rose was betting against his own team and received a lifetime ban from baseball so he would not have to admit to his gambling problem. To this day, Rose is ineligible for the Hall of Fame and can never work in the MLB again.

Rose Gets Super Bowl 50 Highlights

Even after Pete Rose was banned from baseball, he managed to find other ways to stay in the limelight. He was features in the Super Bowl 50 commercial promoting a sports betting app. His appearance did not lead to gambling app commercial trouble since he has no chance of being reinstated. Instead, he now focuses on his hobby, which happens to be television commercials, and continues to engage in sports betting.

Why Athletes are Susceptible to Gambling Problems

Throughout the years, many of the leading athletes in the world have racked up gambling debts and have even lost their career earnings. Athletes are usually more vulnerable to developing gambling addictions since their personality if often on of high energy and they typically have very unreasonable expectations of winning. They are also highly competitive and quite intelligent. Even after athletes stop playing sports, they remain competitive and since they have earned millions during their career, they have the money to spend on gambling. Unfortunately, athletes do not walk away from losses when gambling. That competitive personality leads then to adjust how they are gambling and they start chasing losses, hoping to create situations that will yield a win to recover. For some, success is enjoyed, but for most, this form of gambling leads to further financial disaster and is one of the top career ending activities.