England’s record goalscorer and former captain Wayne Rooney has put his name to a new campaign with the gambling operator 32Red aimed at promoting responsible gambling.
The Stay In Control series was launched this week. The first episode saw Rooney talking with ex-player Scott Davies, who is involved in anti-gambling addiction work.
The episode was staged at the training base for Derby County, the club with which Rooney signed an 18 month contract back in August. Derby are also sponsored by 32Red.
Speaking about the perils of gambling addiction that can affect young players, Rooney outlined the problems of young footballers spending long periods of time away from their friends and families, and how that can facilitate gambling:
“I was a young lad, who had just come into a lot of money. And when you go away with Manchester United, to an away game, you stay in a hotel, and especially when you’re away with England, you’re in a hotel for seven to ten days, you get bored and you end up doing things to fill time, and at that time gambling was one of them.”
Rooney went on to say that it was much easier to bet online than it would have been to go into a bookmakers shop, and that it didn’t feel like real money. He also added that early successes led him to think it was easy to make money from betting, and he ended up chasing his bets.
The CEO at Epic Risk Management, which does a lot of work in this area, said that it was important to educate sports people on the risk of gambling addiction, and he praised Rooney for getting involved, saying that he had the profile to cut through and get the message across to the wider community.