SNOOKER players are creatures of habit. They practice a lot, they sleep a lot, and going by another tale of the expected, they bet a lot as well.

This week it was the turn of former world champion Stuart Bingham to be found guilty of breaking World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) rules on betting on matches involving himself and other players.

Bingham was banned for six months and told to pay costs of £20,000, after placing £35,771 worth of bets over a seven year period, although because he used proxy accounts, it wasn’t possible to calculate how much his betting activities had lost or earned him.

Loading article content

You would have thought players had learned their lesson by now, given how the snooker authorities have, over several years, policed betting. I have witnessed first hand players betting, and the extent they go to cover their tracks.

But it would appear despite the punitive sanctions being employed, they never learn.

You have to hope there is nothing to tempt Bingham, or others, in to gambling again this season, at the 188Bet Champion of Champions, the Betway UK Championship, the Dafabet Masters, Coral Shoot Out, the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix or the Betfred World Championships ...

LAST week I attended the Scottish League Cup semi-final at Hampden between Rangers and Motherwell and found again just how diabolical the wifi service is within the national stadium.

It is so bad, that back in June, one of my friends who works for Scottish FA sponsors Vauxhall, did all their work sitting in the car park, in their company Vauxhall, because the wifi in their car gave a better service that the Hampden service.

IN other snooker news, Ronnie O’Sullivan won the Dafabet (yes, another bookie) English Open in Barnsley last week, and with it the Steve Davis Trophy - then entered in to his ongoing feud with the snooker authorities by not taking the cup home with him.

‘The Rocket’ has been in dispute with World Snooker since he won a record seventh Masters in January. But unlike Stephen Hendry, who received a gold salver for winning three on the spin, and the Masters cup itself for making it five in a row, the game’s governors won’t give Ronnie the current prize or a replica.

The issue needs resolving before Ronnie knocks back a trophy ceremony live on TV.

FINALLY, I noticed last weekend that Scotland is to start exporting haggis to Canada for the first time in 46 years, after producers Macsween of Edinburgh found a way around the Canadians strict imports rules on offal, thanks to a new recipe.

Well done, but what has this to do with sport?

Well, wasn’t it the Canadians who exported sprinter Ben Johnson around the world, a man who took copious amounts of banned drugs, including Winstrol V - a trade name for stanozolol - which was used to fatten beef cattle.

If only the same rules that applied all that time to our beloved haggis had applied to Johnson, how athletics might have been different.