A professional cricketer has blasted the prevalence of gambling advertising in sport and has called for action to curb it.
Chris Wood, 30, revealed his gambling addiction last year, saying it had taken up “almost every hour” of his life.
He now works with the Professional Cricketers’ Association to warn academy players of the risks and dangers of getting into betting.
Speaking to the BBC, Wood lamented that gambling advertising is “rife” in sports, adding that “It’s just so in-your-face so regularly wherever you go”.
Wood added that “one in five adverts on television during sports events are for betting providers or are gambling related” – something that slowed his own recovery from addiction.
“I found it really hard in my first six months of recovery to try to escape my feelings and emotions around gambling when all these adverts were popping up in between a football match I was watching.”
The Hampshire bowler also spoke candidly about the impact of gambling on sports professionals.
He stressed that the competitive nature of sportsmen – “a winning and losing mentality” – commonly crosses over into gambling. He concluded that there are “lots of character traits that correlate with those of gambling addiction”.
Last year, former Arsenal and England captain Tony Adams shared how gambling addiction had become the greatest issue among professional sportsmen and women, dwarfing alcohol and drug addiction.
And England goalkeeping legend Peter Shilton spoke out earlier this year to say there is “no moral justification for gambling sponsorship”, and that there should be “no gambling advertising on shirts”.