Football betting is a huge, multi-billion pound-industry in the UK and across the globe. Whether you choose a one-off bet on your international team or you stick £2 on an accumulator every weekend, betting on football is one of the most popular forms of gambling.
But there are one group of people that, despite being the most involved in the sport, are left out of the betting fun. Who? Footballers. And the same rule applies to everyone. From Cristiano Ronaldo to the captain of your local team, anyone who plays the sport professionally is banned from placing a bet. So why is there free reign over their favourite online casino, but a total ban from football?
It’s obvious why footballers cannot bet on their own matches. After all, it is the players themselves that are in control of the outcome of a game. However, the rules go far beyond matches they are involved in. In 2014, the FA (Football Association) enforced a ruling that prevents any footballer within the top eight tiers of English football from placing a bet on any team from anywhere in the world.
Previous to this ruling, the only restriction was betting on your own team’s games. So, players from the Premier League down to the Northern, Southern and Isthmian Leagues and the FA Women’s Super League and Championship levels are strictly banned from placing any bets on any team, regardless of the league or championship.
Not only are they banned from placing bets, but they are also not allowed to pass any inside information that could be used for betting, including injuries that aren’t yet public and team selection news. Additionally, if any player is found to be indirectly betting, for example getting family members or friends to bet on their behalf, they will also be fined by the FA.
Other Types of Betting
Although most footballers cannot bet on their own sport in any league or any country, there are a number of other games they can bet on. Horse and dog racing, as well as betting in legal casinos, are allowed in a player’s own time as they cannot have any influence over the result of the game. So, there are no restrictions when it comes to placing a pound or two on the online slots or heading down to their local dog track.
Due to the high paying nature of their job and the need for downtime, many footballers enjoy gambling. Whether it’s a game of poker with their friends or a day out at the races, it is an enjoyable past time for many. And although they can’t join in with the UK’s favourite sporting bet, they have the privilege of being part of the team that determines the outcome of millions of bets.