Brisbane midfielder Allen Chirstensen reveals the extent of his gambling addiction that caused him to lose “hundreds of thousands of dollars” whilst betting on horse races.
The 27-year-old admitted his struggles in a tell-all tail on his podcast Addicted To The Game.
Christensen said he was at the height of his problems during his days at Geelong, acting as the main reason behind his trade request to Brisbane.
“Everything I did revolved around racing.” Christensen said.
“It was always about, ‘I’ve just got to be on every race, I want to be on every race’.
“It consumed so much of my life.
“It’s a craving, like a real want to bet.
“I needed to get out on the field to stop thinking about betting.”
The former Cat player admitted to betting on races from all around the world, even during early hours of the morning.
“It would be 2am and I would have training the next day; I would turn up to training absolutely wrecked,” Christensen admitted.
Christensen experienced several highs and lows during the peak of his addiction phase.
“I’d deposited just over $300,000 into my account, I don’t know how much I took out, but it was a sort of like a cycle.” Christensen revealed.
“My biggest outlay was $18,000 on a horse. It got caught on the rails… losing that amount of money… then the next race I acted like it never really happened.
“The biggest amount I won was around $50,000 in a day, but I think I lost a lot of that over the next week.
“It was like a rollercoaster, there was no consistency.”
Chirstensen was traded to Brisbane during the 2014 trade period, in a deal that sent pick 21 to the Cats in exchange.
According to Christensen, moving up north changed everything for him.
“Ever since I got the trade to Brsibane I was able to remove those triggers from my life and become that person I wanted to be,” Christensen continued.
“Looking back now, I don’t know if I could have gone cold turkey straight away if I didn’t leave Geelong.
“I’m forever grateful to Brisbane for taking a chance on me at the time, because there was a lot of shit being spoken about me.”
On his podcast, Christensen revealed the last time he deposited money into any betting account was October of 2014, right before his trade to Brisbane.
Christensen believes he can break down the stigma and issues around gambling, which he believes ‘is often shied away from”.
“I think it’s just that there’s a lot of time and a lot of disposable cash, to be honest,” Christensen said about the gambling culture within the AFL.
Brisbane just recently announced a new deal with betting agency Neds. The Lions management team sat down with Chritsensen prior to the deal being arranged.