Sports stars earn a lot of money through their salaries and endorsement contracts. Having that much money allows them to spend lavishly without worry. However, a good number of sports stars have landed in financial troubles as well due to their expensive hobbies, especially if gambling is one of them. While some gamble at an acceptable level, other sports stars have found their reputations tarnished in a matter of seconds when their gambling scandals made news headlines. In this post, we are going to have a look on sports stars from UK and around the world that are known to gamble big at casinos.
Famous athletes known for their association with gambling1) Floyd Mayweather Jr
Popularly known as Floyd 'Money' Mayweather, the athlete is an avid gambler and loves to share pictures of his wagers running in thousands of dollars on social media. His social media account is also full of big wins and the jackpots that he has cracked. However, it cannot be assumed that he has always won when betting hundreds and thousands of dollars. Of course, it is understandable that his losses never make it onto his social media account.
2) Antoine Walker
Pro-basketball star Antoine Walker is one of the best examples of how gambling can flip your life upside down. Antoine Walker, well-known for playing for Celtics and the Mavericks, was earning over $100 million. However, he was well-known for his opulent lifestyle that included lavish dinners, expensive clothes and gambling.
Antoine Walker was so obsessed with gambling that he ran into debts of more than $800,000 on one of his trips to Las Vegas which, of course, he wasn't able to return. The casino authorities had to call in the cops into the picture and Walker was arrested. Thereafter he was announced as bankrupt.
3) Charles Barkley
Again, a basketball legend, Charles Barkley has openly admitted to the world that he has gambling problems and his addiction to gambling has cost him close to $10 million. However, despite knowing that he has gambling issues and has lost a lot of money on a majority of his gambling endeavours, Charles Barkley continued to gamble as, according to him, he can 'afford it.'
In 2008, the Wynn Casino threatened to call the cops and press criminal charges when Barkley failed to repay his $400,000 debt. Though he had enough bucks to cover the debt, the incident made a serious hit on his reputation.
As of now, he continues to gamble on occasions, but he has stopped playing for high stakes.
4) Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is a well-known name in the basketball community. However, not many know that Michael Jordan loved gambling. Being one of the NBA's highest-paid players and endorsing Nike throughout his career allowed Michael to play exceptionally big while gambling. He is known for placing bets amounting to $100,000 on the game of rock-paper-scissors.
5) John Daly
A popular golfer, John Daly used to drink and smoke heavily. Drinking and smoking gradually gave way to gambling. When asked in 2016 as to how much he thinks he has lost to gambling, the golfer was quick to state a figure ranging close to $57 million.
According to the statement made by John Daly himself, when he won $750,000 at the World Golf Championship in San Francisco, his desire to gamble overcame him and there he was riding towards Vegas where he lost close to $1.65 million on slot machines in a matter of hours. In another statement, the athlete has confessed that he used to play seven blackjack hands at once, betting anything between $5,000 and $15,000 for each hand.
Now, running into the 50s of his life, John Daly has taken control over his gambling issues. Though he hasn't stopped gambling, he has simply set up a loss limit for him. If he loses beyond that limit, he will immediately get up and leave the casino premises.
6) Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney, a former Manchester United star and currently playing as a forward for DC United, is well-known for his infamous gambling excursions.
A report from The Sun in 2017 stated that the athlete lost over 500,000 pounds in a two-hour gambling session at Manchester's 235 Casino. Primarily playing blackjack and roulette, Wayne kept on losing 4,000 pounds per minute as he continued his attempts to convert his losses into winnings. Witnesses say that he was extremely reckless that day as he continue gambling while gulping down bottles and bottles of beer.
Though he could afford the losses, his gambling activities screwed up his married life.
7) Art Schlichter
Those who know Art Schlichter know him as the legendary Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback, who took the school to an undefeated regular session in 1979.
However, his addiction to gambling was as strong as his play. He was spotted several times with an infamous gambler at the Scioto Downs racetrack in Columbus. Along with horse races, Schlichter showed immense interest in gambling on college as well as pro sports.
The 1982 NFL Draft drafted him as fourth overall while he was expected to become the quarterback for Indianapolis Colts. Immediately after his drafting, he gambled away the $350,000 signing amount in its entirety. When the league had a strike in 1982, Schlichter got more time in hand to continue with his vices and he accumulated over $700,000 as debt before the completion of the strike.
Thereafter, another of his gambling incident came to light when he had to rush to the FBI for giving testimony to get certain bookies arrested as they threatened to divulge his illegal gambling habits into the news when the athlete failed to pay $489,000 which he lost while betting illegally on basketball games. Immediately post this incident, Schlichter was suspended from NFL for indulging in illegal gambling.
Still, Schlichter continued gambling. In 1987 he was involved in a multi-million dollars sports betting sting. Later, NFL announced that that Schlichter isn't supposed to be signed by any team. Now, since he wasn't able to earn money from football, he started taking money from his friends and family via dubious means to fuel his addiction to gambling and he lost another $1.5 million of the money that he had borrowed.
Later, in 2011, Schlichter was sentenced to 10-years imprisonment in a state prison for his corrupt and illegal activities.
8) Jaromir Jagr
Jaromir Jagr is a well-known professional hockey player who is notorious for his online gambling addiction. While playing extremely well, his reputation got a hit when a news came out that the athlete owes close to $950,000 as online gambling debts.
Out of this amount, he owed $500,000 to CaribSports. William Caesar, owner of CaribSports, was the one who leaked this story to the media as the athlete stopped paying under the monthly payment plan they had agreed on.