The AFL (Australian Football League) is looking on with great concern, after it has been revealed a growing number of players are becoming addicted to wagering in Australian sportsbooks. What could be harm, one might rightly ask? The problem stems from the fact that the Australian Football League players are wagering on one type of sport and most often one type of sport alone; yes, the very sport they are playing.
The Australian newspaper the Herald Sun has rightly voiced the concerns of the Australian Football League; though perhaps the newspaper itself hasn’t focused on the right area of criticism in their piece. The Herald Sun has expressed fears that many AFL players are simply wagering massive amounts of money to the sheer amount money that they get paid; in some cases they believe that the players may be wagering more than even they earn on Australia’s online sports books.
The true concern at the Australian Football League though is surely more to do with legitimacy and sportsmanship. Are players throwing away matches by wagering on the results and outcomes of matches involving their own teams?
Australian Football League players have access to a near endless amount of possibilities when it comes to wagering on AFL games from the Australian sportsbooks. The volume of options open to the AFL players is now so large that it has hardly gone unnoticed in the country.
One coach in particular, North Melbourne’s Brad Scott has admitted that addiction to gambling is now a far more serious threat than other more traditional vices of sports players, such as alcohol or drug use.
Paul Connors added to the debate by postulating that players are now looking for something more interesting to do with their free time between games. Whereas before players might be contempt for womanizing or perhaps excessive partying, the new top trend is to wager vast sums of money. Because of the general looseness of the Australian gambling laws, there is nothing at present to stop them from doing so.
Connors added that a new way of employing their free time must be found that is appealing to the players. Spending money is one of the most enjoyable pastimes for any celebrity or sport star who has it, and unless an alternative way of dealing with the riches of being a highly paid sports star comes into play, which can stop them from doing so?
The biggest concern is reportedly over the youngest players in the sport, who often attempt to follow their teammates and wager large sums, which in most cases they simply don’t have. Everybody is entitled to wager on sports of course, though to do so on your own sport, certainly on your own team and specifically yourself is forbidden in most other countries. Until the AFL does something about it however, what can anyone do?