Gambling is something which is considered a luxury sport. It is a pastime and an occasion for many people to network and grow. Many people have had great fortune through gambling and have become celebrities from rags.
However, there have been many other stories which have made rags out of celebrities, too. It’s interesting to know how addicted our role models could be to gamble that they end up earning for gambling, sacrifice, family/relationships for gambling and what-not. So, let’s not waste time and talk about some interesting celebrity stories, which you might not have known.
1. Tiger Woods
Well who does not like Tiger Woods and when did Tiger need introductions anyway? But the habit of gambling by Tiger might be unexplored. As per our sources, Tiger was introduced to gambling by Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley. Gambling became an addiction soon when he started hanging out with Michael and Charles a little too much. It is rumored that Tiger has a whopping $1 million limit in most reputable casinos in Vegas. Well, now you know where Tiger’s whopping brand endorsements and high golf contract prices are ending up. Also, Tiger does not believe in playing for smaller amounts and usually takes part in high stakes games of at least $25,000.
Tiger highly appreciated his kind of table set up in casinos. The Mansion at MGM Grand Las Vegas is his favorite gambling destination. He has always loved a table for himself that was surrounded by party girls. Gambling and tables surrounded by party girls were one of the prime reasons that cost Tiger a divorce from his wife.
Considering the expense of divorce which cost about $750 million and a relationship, gambling was a costly choice made by the famous golfer.
2. Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps is one of the greatest swimmers the world has ever known. He is a famous Olympian who has won 28 Olympic medals for his country and has brought so much glory to his country and himself. This is the highest number of Olympic medals any individual has won, which is what has brought the swimmer a peaceful retirement life in his early thirties. He is retired now and is just 32 years of age but has achieved remarkable heights which certainly will define him for a lifetime.
But, one lesser known fact or habit of Michael was gambling. He had a habit of not accepting defeat and a ‘try until you win’ attitude, which earned him a lot of success at Olympics. However, this isn’t the case with gambling. If you lose, you continue to lose heavily, and it is all about luck and fortune as the results are not directly proportional to the attempts or efforts. It took loads of time for Michael to understand this and sources say that he was into gambling so much that it sometimes happened for eight straight hours.
This problem persisted with Michael during 2012. He was also caught for drinking and driving near a casino in Maryland, where he was probably stressed after a straight eight hours of continuous gambling. His life had become very stressed as he wasn’t used to losing and was desperate to win no matter what it had cost. This kept pushing him to despair. Somehow with the help of his friends and close ones, he came out of the gambling habit and now is leaving a peaceful and comfortable life.
3. Tobey Maguire
Tobey the on-screen Spider-Man is as cool and smart in the real life as he is in his movies. He took some tips from a poker player Daniel Negreanu and turned out to make a fortune of $10 million. As per his close friends, tips from Daniel who is a professional poker player helped him make over $10 million. He also participated in a World Series of Poker tournament, which was the time when he encountered Daniel who probably changed his fortune.
But, Tobey’s gambling habits got him to a legal hurdle. He, with some of the other influential celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck, were found to be participating in underground poker games, which are considered illegal due to the unaccounted money at stake. In the year, 2011 Tobey faced a lawsuit for organizing an illegal ring of underground poker. He didn’t take a financial loss due to gambling but a lawsuit against the Spider-Man certainly harmed his popularity.
But, compared to other celebrities on the list, Tobey certainly gained a lot more than he lost due to gambling!
4. Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson is a very famous professional basketball champion. The basketball player has retired now but played 14 seasons in NBA tournaments. Gambling had brought him loads of trouble for which Allen who was nicknamed as ‘The Answer’ had no answers. His case was probably the reverse of Tobey. Allen managed to lose over $200 million through gambling. Yes, you read it right — $200 million — only through gambling.
This famous basketball player had received several heights in his career and received contracts of a lifetime from Reebok. However, due to gambling, he had lost a great deal of his money and was in severe debt and literally had to beg his teammates to pay off such a debt. Also, during the end of his career, he lost the lifetime contract from Reebok as his gambling debts and other negative news reports started surfacing.
Allen’s wife filed for divorce and a statement by Allen read that he does not even have money to buy a cheeseburger and hence, he cannot afford any alimony. Casinos in Atlantic City and Detroit had banned Allen due to his inability to pay off his debts. This is a true story of a hero to zero only because of gambling!
5. Ben Affleck
We had Ben Affleck’s name popping up with Spider-Man Tobey. The ‘Batman’ actor who will be seen in more ‘Justice League’ movies has had his share of gambling issues. His gambling venture wasn’t so beneficial as the super hit 2013 movie ‘Runner, Runner’ and is rumored to have been to a rehab center to come outside or quit the habit of gambling. His interest towards gambling is natural as he won the CA State Poker Championship in 2004. He is also fond of the game blackjack. We are not sure of the financials, but Ben was exposed to quite some mental pressure due to gambling.
6. Ray Romano
Ray is an actor, stand-up comedian, and is known for the popular TV show, ‘Everybody Loves Raymond.’ He has also received an Emmy award for his role in the hit TV show. He has given his voice for Manny in the ‘Ice Age’ movies. The 60-year-old actor was one of the first actors who began receiving huge paychecks for TV shows. In 2009, he went on to produce a show called ‘Men of a Certain Age.’ The show had a character named ‘Joe’ who was a gambling addict and he tried his best to stay away from it as much as possible. It was a surprise to note that the character of Joe was based on Ray himself, which was something the actor later admitted.
Ray still participates in several poker events, but he now knows about his limited skill sets and hopefully is only doing so for fun or as a leisure activity. He isn’t going to casinos now and prefers online poker and similar gambling in smaller amounts. As revealed in the TV series based on Ray himself, he used to seek help from different people anonymously when the gambling debt took over his financial peace.
7. Joe Francis
Joe Francis the ever so controversial film producer named for many controversies and publicities. The businessman had been accused by several actresses for casting couch and inappropriate behavior. He is best known for the ‘Girls Gone Wild’ series. Wynn Hotels and others have filed a legal suit against him for unpaid gambling debts. Allegedly or surprisingly, the debt of over $2 million Wynn was given a discount of about 30 percent.
8. John McCain
John is a sort of political celebrity in the United States as a senior senator in the state of Arizona. At over 80 years of age, John was a Republican candidate in the 2008 elections against Barack Obama. However, from sources and close friends, it was learned that John had at a time in his life been very addicted to gambling. A stretch of eight hours of gambling and ten hours of poker all are in shame where John had stretched for over 14-16 hours on the table. The extent to which he was attached to gambling was worrying and it certainly affected his choices during his senior senator regime.
9. Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen has given us many entrepreneurs or trading goals by his role in the very famous movie ‘Wall Street.’ With a bucket of hit films and tremendous fan following, Charlie is one of the most controversial actors that the industry has ever known. He has recently surfaced for non-payment of taxes. He owes over $5 million in taxes which is a huge problem, especially for such a celebrity.
He is also known for various other controversies that include drugs, alcohol, women, etc. Now coming to his gambling updates, he is known to be a huge gambling addict as revealed by his former spouse during his divorce case. Charlie was in contact with a bookie even while transporting his wife to the hospital while she was pregnant before the birth of his daughter. Clearly, gambling had gained the highest priority in his life over the welcoming of his own daughter and this certainly weakened his personal family ties.
Also, the report exposed that Charlie in his peak lost over $200,000 every week — all thanks to gambling. This surfaced in 2006 and about eight years later, Charlie told his fans and the media that he has overcome gambling and doesn’t do it anymore. But controversies still follow him with tax evasion and non-payment and we hope he loses all of his bad habits soon.
10. Charles Barkley
Another basketball player who has lost huge in gambling is Charles Barkley. After retirement, Charlies is working as an analyst in the NBA tournament. The 55-year-old also had been struggling due to gambling. Charles confessed to having lost about $30 million because of his gambling addiction. He also took counseling and then a break for two years from gambling but is a very difficult addiction, he is back to gambling now.
Now he admits to gambling in casinos but in a much more controlled, monitored, and restricted manner. You never know, you might have new news story surfacing about a new gambling debt from Charles, as gambling is a galloping enterprise and you are always playing with trouble.
Let’s Learn from Celebrities and Let’s Go Gambling
Big celebrities have been in huge gambling troubles and it is certainly worthy to learn from their experiences and be as distant as possible from gambling activities. We have seen many stories and there are very few people who have made a fortune from gambling. Most importantly, we must make sure it never becomes a habit and addiction. Addiction to any activity can be very harmful and these celebrities have already experienced these issues. If people at such heights are not spared by a gambling addiction, it is very difficult for us to remain sheltered.
So, to end the celebrity gambling league, gambling occasionally isn’t bad, but making it a source of income, or a habit or addiction should be avoided.
[Photo Credit: Pixabay]