A generation ago the casino was perceived as the playground of the rich and famous. That’s not the case these days, if it ever really was at all, as casinos are accessible to everyone, especially when we use online platforms.
However, that’s not to say the rich and famous don’t love casino gaming too. Las Vegas and Monte Carlo are two of the world’s top casino hotspots and are also among the best places for celebrity spotting. Here we look at the most popular games among celebrity gamblers.
The lure of the poker table is so strong that some celebrities have been known to give up the careers that made them famous and become full time professional poker players. Hollywood stars Shannon Elizabeth and Jennifer Tilley are both regular faces on the WSOP circuit, the latter having scooped more than $1 million in winnings.
Poker has also proved popular with sports stars, providing a lucrative second career after retiring from their sport of choice. These include swimmer Michael Phelps, snooker player Steve Davis, basketball star Allen Iverson and tennis legend Boris Becker.
It takes time and dedication to play poker at a professional level. Blackjack, on the other hand, is a game where basic strategy is quick to learn and can get you a long way. There are some useful strategic tips at Gamble Online (gambleonline.co/casino/games/blackjack/). The most famous celebrity blackjack player is Ben Affleck, who notoriously found himself ejected from a Las Vegas casino a few years ago for being just a little too good.
Rapper P. Diddy used to insist on a blackjack table on his rider list when he was on tour, while famous NBA figures Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan are also keen players.
James Bond author Ian Fleming was so passionate about baccarat that the original Casino Royale novel dedicated as many pages to game strategy as it did to the espionage plot. In more recent years, Gladys Knight has spoken openly about her gambling addiction in the 1970s that saw her lose tens of thousands playing baccarat in Las Vegas casinos every night.
On a more positive note, Hollywood hard man Bruce Willis is rumored to have once taken an Atlantic City casino for half a million dollars at the baccarat table in a single night.
The Devil’s Wheel is the casino’s great leveler. You could play alongside the most famous celebrity or the most experienced player at the roulette wheel and stand exactly the same chance of winning. That’s probably why roulette tends to appeal to less experienced gamblers.
They didn’t come much less experienced than Harry Styles and his One Direction bandmates. At the height of the band’s fame in 2012, they were just getting warmed up at the roulette table in a Vegas casino when they were unceremoniously ejected. The reason? 18 is old enough for drinking and gambling in the UK, but in Sin City, they were three years below the legal age. These days, of course, Vegas casinos welcome Harry and the rest with open arms.
Speaks from heart, always too passionate and driven by emotions. Spins the words with kindness & sharpness, intriguing your ever-inscrutable minds.