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Kevin Twaddle was a Scottish professional footballer. He also had a gambling problem: ‘All I wanted to do was go and place a bet.’


Twaddle is not the only player with a gambling addiction; a problem which could become very dangerous looking at the worrying issue of match fixing in professional football. To prevent players from developing gambling problems, PFA Scotland launched a Gambling Awareness Education programme.


Jack Ross (photo), who has been responsible for the design and delivery of the project, explains: ‘The protection of player welfare is of paramount importance to a players union and therefore PFA Scotland is committed to providing its members with continued information on issues which could impact upon their career development. This commitment is reflected in areas such as post career guidance, Mental Health support and Gambling Awareness and we are pleased to announce an expansion in the area of Gambling awareness education.’


The expansion comes in the availability of an online education tool and at a time when the issue of match fixing is becoming increasingly prevalent within sport. All players who have provided PFA Scotland with a current email address will be invited to participate in this programme thus providing them with another opportunity to expand their knowledge of sports betting.


Within the tutorial players read information covering three separate areas:

  • The Rules
  • Risks and Approaches
  • Personal Gambling issues. 


Once a player has read the content they will be asked to complete a short series of multiple choice questions before being able to download a certificate confirming their participation in this education process.


This online tutorial has been created to support the Gambling Awareness presentations that PFA Scotland has given to players over recent seasons. While this delivery is continuing it is important to note that approximately 600 players have now been visited and therefore received information on the topic of sports betting.


Ross: ‘It is greatly encouraging that the feedback received from players has been positive and that the presentations have stimulated discussion amongst squads with respect to the rules surrounding gambling in football, match fixing and addiction.’


Undoubtedly the education of players in Scotland in order to maintain the integrity of the domestic game is vital and the addition of the online tutorial increases the work being undertaken in this area. Furthermore it also continues to highlight the assistance available to any players who feel they may have personal gambling addiction problems.


Ross: ‘During the development of PFA Scotland’s gambling awareness education programme on gambling we had been keen to secure the involvement of a former player who had suffered from gambling problems during his career. This season we have been delighted to include ex professional player Kevin Twaddle within our presentations.’


‘As a recovered gambling addict Kevin is able to provide an insight into the impact developing gambling issues can have upon achieving a successful playing career.’


Click here to read Kevin Twaddle’s story