Online casinos have made it much easier for people worldwide to gamble. It’s never been easier, in fact, and you don’t even have to get out your bed to enjoy a flutter. This is as true for us ordinary folks as it is for famous celebrities and global megastars, and a number of high profile names have been known to be enthusiasts.
From famous actors and musicians to sports people and even, perhaps, royalty, there are plenty of big names out there who enjoy a gamble.
Charlie Sheen’s passion for gambling has been well-documented over the years. To be honest, there’s not much Charlie Sheen hasn’t done passionately, which is definitely to his credit – he’s certainly lived a life. Denise Richard has said he used to spend over $20k a week betting on sports, and you can bet he wasn’t winning every time. Of course, getting paid $1.8 million per episode of Two and a Half Men, he can probably afford to be a famous gambler.
Titan of the waves Michael Phelps has had a swimming career without parallel. But as of late, his reputation has painted him as perhaps more of a bad boy than his sponsors could have imagined. His gambling has made headline news in the past, including an 8-hour gambling session immediately before his infamous DUI incident.
He’s said to be worth some $45 million, but his serious penchant for poker has become a huge part of his life. Friends have even raised concerns about his gambling, and with a must-win attitude like Phelps’, it’s perhaps unsurprising he’s so dedicated to his poker.
Ben Affleck is amongst a rare breed of celebrity gamblers – those that are actually successful. He is an avid fan of poker and blackjack, and seems to have a natural affinity for playing the odds. The 2004 California State Poker Champion, he’s even been banned from playing blackjack in Las Vegas – simply because he was so good at the game.
When asked about his ban from the casinos, Affleck said he finds it revealing. “I became decent, the casinos asked me not play blackjack. I mean the fact that being good at the game is against the rules that the casinos should tell you something about the casinos”. Indeed, Ben. Indeed.
Sportsmen in particular seem to take a strong liking to gambling. Perhaps that’s no surprise really, when you consider the competitive attitude that drives athletes to reach the very pinnacle of their sports. Tiger Woods, the once all-dominant golfer, has been known to enjoy cards, playing for as much as $25k per hand during his casino nights. Blackjack is his game of choice, and he’s been known to win as much as $1 million on a consistent, nightly schedule. Now that his golf’s taken a bit of dip, maybe a new career awaits.
Rapper and entrepreneur 50 Cent is full of surprises. In addition to his business adventures and even his recent dubious bankruptcy, 50 Cent has been known to be a heavy backer of sports betting. He dropped a $500,000 wager on a match between the New York Giants and San Francisco, and is known to be a sports fan and regular high roller sports gambler.
Another Hollywood A-lister, Matt Damon’s gambling started with a little more focus than some others. He spent over $25,000 at casinos in the early part of his career, over the space of just a few months. His excuse? He was preparing for his role in Rounders, which remains one of the best gambling movies of all time.
It’s all stood him in good stead, and he’s rumoured still to be pretty interested in gambling. He doesn’t need the money of course, but no doubt enjoys the thrill of the action.
The Baywatch beauty has form when it comes to poker – some have even suggested she ended up marrying Rick Salomon as a direct result of losing a poker bet to him, to the tune of $250,000. Who says you can’t put a price on love? Poker is her game, and even today, Pam is still known to enjoy a big money game.
George Clooney is famed for his role as Danny Ocean in Ocean’s Eleven, one of the best gambling heist movies of all time. However, he has real-life experience. Matt Damon tells an amusing anecdote about Clooney losing 25 blackjack hands in a row, along with a substantial amount of money in one sitting. Determined not to lose, he just kept going, throwing good money after bad, and defying the odds and probabilities by losing miserably hand after hand. Never mind, George – I’m sure there are still plenty more millions to play through.
Queen Elizabeth II
OK, so the Queen probably doesn’t gamble, although there have been a number of swirling rumours. The Queen Mother, while she was alive, was a great fan of horse racing, and even owned a number of horses in her own right. She was said to be a gin-swilling betting fan, in the style of many of her subjects. Unfortunately those close to the Royal Family insist there is no truth in any suggestion that the Royals gamble, and as one of the richest families in the world, perhaps there’s some truth to that. Still, who doesn’t like to think of the Queen herself desperately cheering on her runner over the final furlong at 8/1?