Blackburn and ex-Arsenal winger reveals gambling habit

David Bentley likes to talk. Whether it’s to snub the England Under-21’s, talk up the chances of him leaving Blackburn or telling Theo Walcott to leave Arsenal, the boy will speak his mind. The Daily Mail are today reporting that the England winger has been sounding off again, this time about a nasty gambling problem he had while at Arsenal.

“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.”

He said: “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.”

This is not the first instance of footballers getting hooked on gambling. Indeed, with so much spare time on their hands, it’s little wonder that so many develop addictions to booze, drugs and betting. What’s the odds on Mr Bentley leaving Ewood Park in the summer for pastures new? If rumours are to be believed, it’s looking like an odds-on chance right now.

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