England Footballer Suffered Gambling Addiction

11 April 2008

England midfielder David Bentley, 23, revealed on last night's Setanta Sports' Football Matters program that he has suffered from a gambling addiction. Bentley says he used to place up to 100 bets a day on horses, greyhound and Internet poker.

"I was betting on anything. It starts off with pounds, then it's a hundred, then it's thousands. You start off wanting to win £100 and then it's £100,000."

"I was 14 when I first went into a betting shop. I used to go with a few of my mates at first and with our dads as well. It was when I started earning more that I started to get really heavily into it. I was addicted to everything — horses, dogs, online poker and the American sports.

"I would wake up in the morning and the first thing I would think about would be to have a bet rather than play football. All I wanted was to have a bet."