Melbourne superstar Cameron Munster has revealed he was losing thousands of dollars a week as he battled gambling and alcohol addictions before entering a rehab centre earlier this year.
Munster checked himself into the facility in Brisbane in the wake of the white powder scandal which led to him and rushfordgatheringspace two other Storm players – Brandon Smith and Chris Lewis – being sanctioned by the NRL.
The trio had been filmed partying in a hotel room with white powder present after the Storm’s finals exit, with Munster copping a $30,000 fine and a week’s suspension.
The Queensland State of Origin playmaker believes his time at the Banyans Health and Wellness centre has helped him realise the depth of his gambling issues, and how much it was affecting his on-field performance.
“Every Saturday I was in a gambling routine. Some days I’d win and have a really good game,” Munster told News Corp Australia.
“Some days I might lose a lot of money and it was like a roller coaster.
“I’d have this anxiety about a big loss hanging over my head and it showed in the way I played.”
Munster said he’d lost $50,000 in one day during lockdown earlier this year and had even had a bet in the dressing room before a game, hiding in a toilet to watch the race without teammates or coaching staff knowing.
The 27-year-old also confessed to binge drinking issues and vowed to avoid alcohol for at least the next 12 months.
Munster’s rehab stint has paid immediate dividends, with the Storm impressed by the condition of the five-eighth upon his return to pre-season training.
Melbourne skipper Jesse Bromwich said earlier this week the only way the white powder trio will regain trust at the club is via their actions, a lesson the prop learned after being embroiled in a cocaine scandal outside a Canberra nightclub while on Test duty with New Zealand in 2017.
“People can get up and talk about things as much as they want but if you’re putting it into actions and we can see that’s happening you will be OK,” Bromwich said.
Munster said the impending birth of his first child with partner Bianca McMahon is also forcing him to evaluate and alter his off-field choices.
“This baby is going to change our lives.I have to be more responsible. I have to be a good, supportive father and I will be,” he said.
The two-time premiership player, meanwhile, dismissed speculation he would join expansion club the Dolphins when his contract with the Storm expires at the end of 2023.
“I’d like to be a one-club player and be here for the rest of my career,” Munster said.