Former Australian Football League star, David Schwarz, recently opened up about the hidden gambling epidemic that is running rampant in AFL locker rooms. Schwarz, who made a name for himself while playing for Melbourne, revealed that he has talked with Australian footballers who have gambled away hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Schwarz described gambling in the Australian Football League as an “escalating problem, something that is bordering on an epidemic.” Schwarz elaborated further on AFL gambling, claiming that certain players lose approximately 75% of their monthly wages to sports wagering.
Other Respected Voices Discuss Gambling in the AFL
Paul Connors, one of the AFL’s most popular managers, says that gambling is the “hidden problem in footy.” Another team executive told reporters that players primarily bet on the NBA and NFL. The executive, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, says that players gamble because they are bored.
David Schwarz said that the gambling problem has remained hidden because football players are worried that discussing their addiction openly could damage their careers.
David Schwarz’s Sports Gambling History
Schwarz has personally spoken with over 30 current Australian Football League players who are struggling with compulsive gambling. Schwarz is especially concerned for these players because he lost more than $5 million to his gambling addiction.
Thankfully, though, David Schwarz has not placed a bet for more than 10 years. The former Melbourne Demons star is headlining a new campaign aimed at helping football players overcome their gambling habits, inspired in large part by his own rocky relationship with sports betting.
Schwarz believes that one of the reasons why gambling is such a big problem in the AFL is that players are inundated with too many sports betting advertisements. Schwarz would like the Australian government to step in and minimize the appearance of gambling-related advertisements.