Drunken $720k gambling binge left footballer almost broke

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Nicklas Bendtner is pictured on the left alongside girlfriend, Philine Roepstorff.
Nicklas Bendtner admits that gambling was a major problem for him in the past. Pic: Instagram

Former English Premier League striker has Nicklas Bendtner has revealed details of a crazy, booze-filled gambling binge that left him on the verge of bankruptcy.

The Danish star - nicknamed 'Lord Bendtner' by supporters in England - was perhaps best known to football fans during his days with Arsenal in the English top flight.

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It was during his time with the Gunners when the now 32-year-old admits that he came close to financial ruin after a drunken trip to the casino in the early hours of the morning.

Bendtner shed light on the 2011 incident in an interview with The Guardian, where he claims he lost a staggering $A720,000 in just 90 minutes.

The Dane, who was in his early 20s at the time, said things went downhill rapidly after he entered the London casino heavily intoxicated at around 3am.

“I’m way too drunk to sit at a table. That much I get. But roulette is a different matter. Red, black, red, black. How hard can it be?” he said.

“After 90 minutes I’ve lost $720,000. Money I don’t have. My bank account is overdrawn and I’m bankrupt if my luck doesn’t turn.

“I stagger into the loos and splash water on my face. Then I find a cashier and get another $90,000 of chips.”

Bendtner somehow managed to turn things around by winning back about $685,000 by sunrise, but admits the chaotic experience made him reassess his life choices.

Nicklas Bendtner is pictured here during his Arsenal playing days.
Bendtner says a casino bender during his Arsenal days left him on the verge of bankruptcy. Pic: Getty

Bendtner admits gambling was a big problem

“When you’re more or less broke it makes you think, ‘It’s got to stop’. I was down $720,000 but ended up winning some of it back, actually,” he said.

“It was too risky - even for me. It was the wake-up call that helped break that spell.

“I’ve never been a guy who cares about money as a way of showing off. At first it was more about the fun and being with people you like.

“When I was injured, and couldn’t get the excitement from that absolute living-on-the-edge feeling on the pitch, gambling gave me adrenaline.

“Obviously the higher the risk, the higher the adrenaline. So you go for high stakes.”

Unfortunately, it wasn't the only gambling scare for Bendtner, who also admitted to losing more than 5 million pounds ($A9 million) playing poker over the course of his career.

Bendtner scored 45 goals in 171 appearances for Arsenal's first team during his time in English football, but has been without a professional club after being released by Copenhagen last season.

The 32-year-old had hoped to play for Denmark during the 2018 World Cup but was left out of the squad because of injury.

He has also featured on reality TV with girlfriend and fashion model, Philine Roepstorff.

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