Competitions and betting have become completely intertwined today. This becomes obvious not just if you look at a Premier League match played by the Gunners – you can bet on much lower leagues from all over the globe, and often at sports you may not even have heard about. Sports and gambling have a complicated relationship. This invariably leads to discussions about the ethics of gambling, especially betting, and sports.

Should athletes gamble?

It depends on what form of gambling they are practising. Playing online casino games should be OK for any athlete if they keep their habit casual. But when they go overboard, things can become problematic. On the one hand, excessive spending at the gambling tables can get them into various troubles, and these can impact their performance on the turf. On the other hand, like all addictions, gambling addiction can directly impact their performance and their entire career.

It’s not unheard of for athletes to be avid gamblers. And quite often, this can turn into a problem. Tony Adams, whose clinic Sporting Chance has helped countless players who have been battling various addictions, from alcohol and various substances to various forms of gambling.

Should athletes bet?

Some may argue that, unless it’s on a match where they participate, there shouldn’t be a problem with athletes betting. As long as it doesn’t turn into a problem, of course. There are countless examples of athletes, some of them Arsenal’s own, who have had their careers put in jeopardy by gambling, including David Bentley, who has revealed that he had “personal problems” during the years he spent at Emirates Stadium, and Paul Merson, who was also battling addictions not just to gambling but to various substances and alcohol during the early years of his career. Once his FA-arranged rehab was up, he returned to the Gunners and helped the team win the Cup Winners Cup final in 1995.

Should athletes bet on their own games?

Betting on an event you have a direct influence on is completely unethical, and goes directly against FA regulations. Yet there are still athletes that do it. One of the most recent examples is Ivan Toney, who was recently charged with hundreds of breaches of the FA’s gambling regulations, betting on his own team’s games repeatedly. He was not deemed a match-fixer after he was diagnosed as an addict, so he was only suspended for 11 months by the FA.

To keep the game as clean as possible, and the betting part fair and clean, of course, no athlete should bet on their own games.

Final words

The integration of sports and betting is a prevalent issue, with ethical questions arising. Athletes must exercise caution when gambling, as excessive involvement can lead to financial and performance-related problems. Notable figures like Tony Adams have aided athletes dealing with addiction, including gambling. Betting on events unrelated to their participation may be acceptable if done responsibly. However, betting on one’s own games is a clear ethical violation, as it jeopardizes the sport’s integrity and is subject to strict regulations.