Nottingham Forest star Harry Toffolo escaped betting ban after FA discovered ‘unsophisticated’ gambling at 25p stakes

HARRY TOFFOLO escaped a ban for breaching betting rules as his stakes were small and ‘unsophisticated’.

He also ended up losing money and some of his bets were as little as 25p.

PAHarry Toffolo escaped a ban for betting rule breaches[/caption]

But an FA report reveals his gambling habits were driven by his treatment at Norwich and a desire to ‘fit in’ with senior players.

He then became ‘depressed’ and suffered from ‘mental health issues’.

The Nottingham Forest defender, 28, was this week given a suspended five-month ban by the Football Association after admitting 375 breaches of betting rules.

But he bet a total of £1,323.93, meaning that Toffolo’s average stake was £3.53. 

He began placing bets he was 18 years old and when he stopped, he was 21.

Only once did he ever bet a single stake of £100 and he lost money overall – £367.70 in all – and he has not bet on football since March 2017.

Toffolo’s ban is suspended until the end of 2024-25 and he has also been fined £20,956.

He breached FA rules which ban players from placing bets or passing on information that could be used for betting 375 times between January 2014 and March 2017.

GettyToffolo was handed a suspended five-month ban[/caption]

He was a Norwich player at the time, and played on loan for Swindon, Rotherham, Peterborough and Scunthorpe.

But the FA report says: “He suffered the twin disappointments of being told that he did not feature in the manager’s plans at Norwich, but that he could not go out on loan to gain experience.”

Some bets were for as little as 25p – but the FA accepted that Toffolo had ‘a number of very difficult times’ between 2014 and 2017 and that he had ‘done an admirable job of moving on from those difficulties’.

But the FA added: “He perceived that his future at Norwich, in the U23 Development squad looked bleak. It was around that time that he began gambling.

“He did so partly to alleviate his low mood but principally because he wanted to ‘fit in’ with players who were claiming to be gambling regularly and successfully.

GettySome of Toffolo’s bets were as little as 25p[/caption]

“In his own words, he naively believed that if he acted like the first team players, he would have more of a chance of ‘making it’ as a footballer. 

“With hindsight, he believes that he became addicted to gambling during this period.”

It adds: “He struggled with his mental health for a variety of reasons. Those struggles led him to gamble with increasing frequency.

“We accept that there appears to have been a link between the state of mental health and his gambling.

“By February 2016 the situation had become so bad that he considered his career in football to be over.”

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