May 29, 2024 3 min read

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Newcastle Player Reveals How Gambling Addiction Can Ruin Careers

Nile Ranger didn’t realize he had a gambling addiction until he had already lost substantial funds, contributing to his other off-field issues

Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley took the drastic step of banning ex-Magpie striker Nile Ranger from all casinos after the young soccer player squandered £32,000 ($40,750) in just three months due to a gambling addiction. This action served as a wake-up call for the athlete, motivating him to seek professional help and avoid further harm.

Gambling Added to Ranger’s Troubles

Nile Ranger, a once-promising talent, was awarded a lucrative three-and-a-half-year contract with Newcastle United at the age of 17 in 2009. Despite making 62 appearances for the club, Ranger’s career at Newcastle was overshadowed by off-field issues, controversies, and a lack of discipline, preventing him from achieving his full potential.

Ranger’s gambling addiction led him to borrow thousands of pounds from his Newcastle teammates, and his habit soon spiraled out of control. Recognizing the severity of the situation, Mike Ashley and then-managing director Derek Llambias intervened. Ranger revealed he would gamble away all his wages, relying on his lucrative contract to make ends meet.

It was out of control. I was doing dumb things. Derek Llambias and Mike Ashley put me in the room and banned me from all casinos.

Nile Ranger

Ranger’s gambling problems were less publicized compared to his other legal troubles, which included serving time in prison for conspiracy to defraud. However, the extent of his addiction became clear during a candid interview with Rising Ballers, where Ranger detailed his crippling gambling habit and its consequences.

The Athlete Was Thankful for the Timely Help

Taking drastic measures to tackle his addiction, Ranger spent time at Sporting Chance, a UK charity founded by former Arsenal captain Tony Adams that helps athletes with addiction and mental health issues. Despite these efforts, Ranger’s career never fully recovered from his gambling and other off-field problems. After several stints with other UK clubs, he is now a free agent.

Reflecting on his turbulent past, Ranger admitted that he has many regrets. The athlete recalled a conversation with his mother when she informed him about the extent of his gambling losses. That revelation pushed him towards the long path to recovery, but Ranger admits that he must now live with the consequences of his past actions.

Mike Ashley’s intervention may have come too late to salvage Ranger’s career, but it underscores the devastating impact gambling can have on professional athletes on and off the pitch. Ranger’s story serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of addiction and the importance of seeking help before it’s too late.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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