'Players are checking their bets at half-time' - Ex-Celtic star warns gambling is 'rife' in Scottish football

Rab Douglas claims players are checking bets at half-time during matches
Rab Douglas claims players are checking bets at half-time during matches
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Former Celtic and Scotland goalkeeper Rab Douglas has warned gambling is rife in Scottish football - and claims some players are checking bets during half-time intervals.

Writing in The Courier, Douglas - currently goalkeeping coach at Championship side Arbroath - called on the Scottish FA to "do something constructive" with regards the link between gambling and football.

Pointing out that betting in football has been common for some time, Douglas writes: "It used to be the Littlewoods coupons and now you can bet on pretty much anything to do with a game of football – or any other sport for that matter.

"And it’s not a case of players filling in their slip and forgetting about it - I know of dressing rooms where players are on their phones checking bets just before a game, straight after one and even at half-time."

Douglas also referenced the case of Hamilton manager Brian Rice, who earlier this week admitted to having a gambling addiction and revealed he had reported himself to the SFA for allegedly breaching the Association's rules on betting.

"Brian was quite right to describe it as a "disease"," Douglas continued.

"Nobody would choose to be addicted to gambling just like they wouldn't choose to be addicted to smoking or alcohol.

"As such, Brian needs support and help. Punishment is certainly not the answer. Nothing would be gained by hammering him. This is the time for the SFA to do something constructive.

"The biggest thing is making sure there are people and systems put in place to offer assistance before it gets out of hand.

"The temptation is too great and it needs to be lessened."