Snooker star and ex-world champion Stuart Bingham has spoken about the prevalence of betting marketing in the sport in an interview with the BBC.
Bingham, who sat out three months of the season following a ban for betting breaches, said that while the sport depended on money from betting companies, betting industry sponsorship was ubiquitous:
It is in our faces, it is everywhere. Betting is in our game, lots of tournaments are sponsored by it, they have to put their banners out there. I don’t think you can stop it unless we get another load of companies which change the sponsorship.”
Bingham’s suspension during the last snooker season ruled him out of three high profile events: the International Championship, UK Championship and the Masters, and the world number 14 estimated that the ban had cost him around £150,000 in missed prize money.
Two other players also fell foul of the rules on betting last season. Former Masters finalist Joe Perry and world number 92 Alfie Burden, who are both over 40, were given suspended bans for betting offences, and Bingham said that while the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association is attempting to educate players about the problems with gambling, it was the older generation of snooker players who have tended to be involved.
Bingham was banned by the WPBSA, who found him guilty of betting on matches that he was involved in. He denies betting on games he played in, but the WPBSA estimated that he had gambled around £35,771 on snooker matches during the previous seven years.
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