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Gambling the biggest problem in AFL, says Petrie

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Gambling is "the biggest social problem in AFL football" at the moment, according to North Melbourne veteran Drew Petrie. 

The 32-year-old told AFL.com.au's weekly podcast AFL Exchange the Kangaroos did not have a gambling culture but like most workplaces there were people who had a punt.

Petrie said Hawthorn premiership player Brent Guerra's revelations in the Herald Sun on Wednesday that he lost $400,000 in four years on the punt caused him to consider the issue with fresh eyes.

He said he asked himself whether there was anything more he should do to ensure that the enjoyable pastime did not become a problem for anyone at the football club.

"I'd hate for anybody at North Melbourne to in three or four years time to come out and say they lost a lot of money, they lost their house and I was at the club and I was aware they gambled but did nothing about it," Petrie said.

"I think it [Guerra's story] makes all senior players at football clubs sit up [and take note]."

Petrie, who is on the AFL Players' Association Board, said that players were educated about a range of matters including the dangers of gambling and it was a difficult problem to address even with the best of intentions. 

"It's a difficult conversation because it is a personal conversation and someone might lie to you and not tell you the truth," Petrie said. 

"It's a bit hard sometimes to confront a mate about an issue like this."