Rugby league legend Allan ‘Alfie’ Langer has admitted to gambling away a chunk of his earnings while playing the sport.
‘Know your limits’ is the advice Langer has for young players because sudden and exceptional pay increases can be tricky to handle.
Langer told the Sunday Mail that his own gambling problem started before he joined the Brisbane Broncos in 1988, but it was the massive jump in pay that really set the wheels in motion.
“I was betting most days, partly through boredom, partly through excitement and the thrill to win,” he said.
Langer would punt thousands and losing became a slippery slope as he would try and fail again and again to win back his losses.
When Langer’s family reached breaking point, that was the push he needed to change his ways.
“You get to a point where your family has had enough of it. You have to knock it on the head otherwise you lose your family,” he told the Sunday Mail.
Langer looked back on his career and said he has mostly happy memories.
“My only regret is punting but you can’t change it now,” he said.
The 49-year-old’s advice for younger players is to know their gambling limits, and be wary of temptation in the face of sudden pay increases.
“My limits started off well, but they just exploded,” he said.