Famous Gambling Addicts

We all know how common gambling addiction can be, and it’s not just regular everyday people who fall foul of this addiction. There are plenty of celebrities who have also struggled with gambling problems. This article will explore some of the most celebrity gamblers who’ve been losing money at casinos and poker tournaments for years. Athletes, movie stars, and musicians make up just a small number of the famous gambling addicts who struggled with addiction issues at the height of their fame and popularity. Seeing some of these names might encourage you to address your own gambling addiction. 

What is a gambling problem?

Many people suffer from a gambling problem but are perhaps not ready to admit that this is a problem. Typically speaking, addiction issues can cause a wealth of problems, such as insomnia, mood swings, money problems, and other matters of a medical nature. If you find you are thinking about gambling all the time and you are unable to gamble in moderation, this is a sign that you could well be struggling with a gambling problem. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from gambling addiction either don’t realize it or are in denial about the fact that they have a problem, which can lead them down a destructive path.

If your health and financial well-being are starting to be impacted by your gambling, this is a huge red flag and one that may suggest you have a problem that needs dealing with. The problem that many addicts have is that when they start winning money in games like blackjack and roulette, where betting is rapid, they keep spending. Then once the person loses money, they spend more in order to win that money back again. This is how the cycle starts, as well as how a lot of people find themselves stuck in a vicious cycle of gambling. 

10 Most Famous Gambling Addicts:

1. Tiger Woods

World-famous golfer Tiger Woods has never been far from controversy and rose to fame when he won his first major, the Masters, in record-breaking style. Woods’ of the links problems are well documented, and gambling became a big vice for the American, who was among the most famous gamblers in the world and known to spend up to $25,000 per visit to the casino. 

2. Michael Jordan

The first athlete to become an absolute global superstar, Air Jordan was perhaps the most effectively marketed sportsman of his generation. But his 6 NBA Championship wins with the great Chicago Bulls team of the 1990s was occasionally overshadowed by his off-court problems, largely his highly publicized position as one of the world’s most famous gambling addicts. Quoted as saying, “I love to bet!” Jordan would gamble on anything, and M.J. once reportedly lost $5 million in one night on the Vegas craps tables! 

3. Charlie Sheen

From what we know about Charlie Sheen, naming him as one of the world’s celebrity gambling addicts would seem pretty inconsequential, but the Two and a Half Men star had a pretty big problem. Indeed, gambling is believed to lead to the actor’s divorce from ex-wife Denise Richards. 

4. Ben Affleck

Academy Award-winning actor, director and producer Ben Affleck has a long history of attending celebrity poker tournaments. He is regarded as a proficient poker player, even winning the 2004 California State Poker Championship. However, the 49-year-old is also believed to be one of the more celebrity gambling addicts. Despite apparently losing as much as $400,000 on a hand of poker back in 2001, Affleck has continued to deny publicly that he has a gambling addiction.

5. Dana White

UFC president Dana White is no stranger to controversy, and the 52-year-old has readily admitted to dealing with gambling issues and addiction throughout his career. One of the most well-known celebrity gamblers, White has referred to himself as a “Degenerate gambler” and is believed to have once lost as much as $1 million on a boxing bet in the past!

6. Charles Barkley 

Basketball icon Charles Barkley was also known to be a prolific gambler and was often seen with fellow NBA star Michael Jordan. Barkley was known to gamble on a multitude of different events and games and is believed to have lost as much as $10 million due to his gambling addiction. Despite suffering significant losses, Barkley was also known to win occasionally, and he claims he won $700,000 playing blackjack.

7. Shannon Elizabeth

American Pie actress Shannon Elizabeth is a well-known face on the global poker circuit, with the 48-year-old winning $55,000 at the 2005 World Series of Poker. It was rumoured at one point that the actress was running a poker ring from her home and that her addiction was getting out of hand. 

8. Gladys Knight

Shannon Elizabeth isn’t the only well-known name for famous female gamblers, with singing legend Gladys Knight battling a highly publicized gambling addiction that lasted more than a decade. The Empress of Soul joined Gamblers Anonymous in the late ‘80s after losing $60,000 in a single night playing baccarat. It is believed she has since kicked the habit. 

9. Allen Iverson

Sports stars seem to have a fondness for gambling, and Allan Iverson is the third NBA player to make our list. A once-promising prospect, the former NBA star is believed to have a severe drinking and gambling problem and is experiencing financial hardship despite amassing a fortune of close to $200 million throughout his career. 

10. Michael Phelps

The most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps was the clean-cut All-American but harboured a secret gambling addiction that threatened to derail things. The Baltimore Bullet was believed to have a gambling problem, and his ‘don’t quit until you win’ approach exacerbated things. Friends were said to be concerned for the swimmer and his approach to gambling.

Gambling addiction is nothing new, and these days there are a lot of people who struggle with gambling problems. There are many famous gambling addicts out there, and this is a list of just 10 of the biggest. By focusing on the best ways of dealing with your addiction, you can use these stories to help you get better as soon as possible. 

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