Australia's Brendan "Fev" Fevola is one of Australia's greatest football players. He's also now known as one of down under's most passionate punters of all time, however Fev's now focused on the footy and family, and putting gambling behind and on the back burner, at least for the time being.
Media Man and Gambling911 probe the situation of Fev, of when having a punt and enjoying it, can turn troublesome and stops being fun.
Overkill on casino and club pokies, blackjack, online poker, the horse racing... Fev used to be up for a punt on just about anything... betting on two flys up a wall sort of thing, but after the winning turned to loosing, on and off the punt, Fev's now battling financial and emotional distress. Fortunately, he's on field play is still world class, and as real life 'Underbelly' Melbourne identity went on record with, "Focus on the footy".
If any smart operator knows about strengths and weaknesses, that would be Mick Gatto, managed by our media PR mate and sometime mentor, Max Markson of Markson Sparks! fame. Max has also offered media advise to Sydney bombshell, Lara Bingle, who enjoyed a bit of a mingle... er fling, with Our Fev circa 2006. Markson is is also the agent for Mr Gatto, and we will say Maxy did a fine job of book promotion for Mick's 'I Mick Gatto' autobiography released a few months back. Markson's book by the way is entitled appropriately 'Show Me The Money', but that's another story, related none the less.
Let's address the situation at hand...
Fevola owes up to $300,000 AUD depending upon who tend to believe. Most owing is to leading corporate bookies.
A parade of bookies and betting agencies yesterday revealed a history of fraught dealings with the wayward Brisbane Lions superstar.
"Yes, the reports you are hearing are right - Brendan Fevola does owe us, but it's not a really big amount of money," Betezy's Ryan Kay told the Herald Sun.
"We understand other places are owed more than us. We're good friends with Brendan and we don't have problems with him.
"He hasn't had a bet with us for a while, probably not since pre-season in the spring carnival."
A leading rails bookmaker, who did not want to be named, admitted Fevola had only recently paid off a $20,000 debt.
To Fev's credit, he's identified has has a problem and early this week took the ballsy step of writing to betting agencies requesting that they No Longer extend him credit. If they did so, Fevola declared he would not be responsible for paying the debts!
A number of bookies owed large sums by Fevola have understandably been somewhat reluctant to speak on record.
"His modus operandi was having $10,000 on short-priced horses regularly," one bookie said, on condition of anonymity.
Our friends at Aussie casino king James Packer's Crown Casino are also part of the saga. Some patrons at Crown Casino's poker room have disclosed how good hands, sharks et al would queue up to play into the night games with Fevola, considered a bit of a Texas hold 'em easybeat.
Collingwood Football Club president Eddie "Everywhere" McGuire, host of TV hit 'Millionaire', Fevola's friend and mentor, has advised Fev was receiving monetary and personal counselling.
"He's in the hole for about a couple of hundred grand. He realises all the fun and games of being Fev and the excess is now taking its toll on him and his family. It's time to at long last pull the head in on a number of fronts, including the gambling."
Fevola's gambling came to light midway through his Brownlow Medal night "show" last year, when he was captured on Crown Casino surveillance cameras running to place a bet in the Mahogany Room during a TV ad break. Security bosses who reviewed Fevola's behaviour that night watched him dart off to the high-roller room on his own and place three quick bets before galloping back to his table in the Palladium room. Many hours prior to Brownlow function, footage showed Fevola and Carlton skipper Chris Judd drinking and dropping few grand playing blackjack.
Such passion did Fev possess he attempted to return to the punt after being evicted from the Brownlow function and had to be restrained by a squad of security officers. We understand that no plastic handcuffs were required.
AFL Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson said he believed Fevola was not alone as a "problem gambler" in AFL ranks. "He's not the first one and I dare say he won't be the last. "From time to time, players are going to fall into the trap of getting involved in that sort of stuff, but our education programs and money spent on those programs has been as good as at any time I've spent in the game."
The AFL Players' Association said fewer than 1% of registered players had approached it requesting assistance with gambling problems in recent years. "Our statistics show it is not an increasing problem," spokesman Ben Hart said.
Crown Casino in Melbourne will host the 2010 Logies in a few short weeks. Network Nine Australia, also home to 'Underbelly' will broadcast the event.
Gambling911 and Media Man wish Fev success and all power off and on the field, and we remind our readers who enjoy a punt to do so responsibly. We're delighted to help get his story out there on a national and international scale. Many ethical online casinos and online sports books have player exclusion options. Know the odds, party on, and and have fun.
*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911
*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen industries they report on. They are currently redeveloping Australian Sports Entertainment http://www.australiansportsentertainment.com
*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited
Casino News Media
Global Gaming Directory
Australian Casino News
Australian Sports Entertainment
Sports Entertainment News