Gambling and sports share a long, long history. Spectators have viewed gambling activities as a means of getting a taste of the action for centuries. Both activities have grown together massively since then and today, anybody can gamble in a casino online.
Hence, it is no surprise that some famous athletes are known to have gambling as their hobby. Whether in a brick-and-mortar casino or online casino, there’s nothing wrong with a top athlete getting some gambling action.
So, we will be providing you with a list of the most famous athletes with gambling hobbies.
Floyd Mayweather Jr
Floyd “Money” Mayweather is one of the most successful boxers ever. However, he didn’t earn his nickname by just knocking down opponents in the ring. Floyd currently resides in Las Vegas and he has made the headlines over the years for placing big bets. As expected, Floyd only shows his wins on social media but they are all noteworthy bets. He has a habit of staking more than a million dollars on his favorite team during the Superbowl. So, he goes with the consensus favorite most times. The most interesting thing about Mayweather’s bets is that he selects favorites and then wagers lots of cash on them. While this seems like an effective betting strategy, it only suits multimillion-dollar icons like Mayweather. Imagine yourself placing a $100 bet on a strong favorite to win $10. Doesn’t seem rewarding, right? However, someone like Floyd can afford to stake $1 million to win $100,000. So, you should agree with us that it’s easier to make money when you have lots of it.
Michael Jordan is easily one of the most well-known names in the history of sports. He’s the greatest basketballer of all time and his success can be attributed to his competitive spirit. Due to this highly competitive spirit, Jordan enjoys gambling a lot. In 1993, he insisted that he had a competitive problem rather than a gambling problem. The history of Jordan’s bets on sporting activities is checkered as he has never seemed to stick to a betting pattern. He just gambles for the love of winning. The ex-NBA superstar is known to put the same energy when gambling on a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors and when betting on a professional championship game. Jordan has also had his highs and lows in the gambling world, he famously once lost $5 million in a night while playing craps. Yet, MJ still retains his love for gambling, and sports betting is a favorite activity of his. He now spends most of his gambling time betting on golf.
Charles Barkley was a highly successful basketball player in the NBA in the 80s and 90s. It was during this period that he began to place bets on sporting events. Though it may seem unethical, the superstar wagered on NBA games as an active NBA player. Barkley gambled without limits during those days of early gambling since he wasn’t experienced. As a result, he won big and also lost big amounts. However, he often lost much more money than he won. Barkley is known to enjoy betting on all kinds of sports but the championship series are his favorite. After some time, he has admitted that he has a gambling problem but this hasn’t stopped him from betting. Instead, he proceeded to create a betting limit for himself. This important step has seen him rewarded with a partnership deal with Draftkings. As the brand’s ambassador, he goes around talking to the public about the positives of sports betting. Barkley remains an avid sports bettor today.
Pete Rose is an ex-baseball star that spent 23 years playing Major League Baseball. He played in multiple positions during his playing and this was why people started calling him “Charlie Hustle ”. After his retirement, Rose managed the Cincinnati Reds for a few years. He was an avid gambler throughout his MLB career. This would eventually get him banned for life and prevent him from entering the MLB Hall of Fame. It was reported that Rose placed bets as high as $10,000 on Cincinnati Reds games. According to him, he was never involved in match-fixing because he was always betting on his team to win.
The ban didn’t prevent him from betting on MLB games though and he still gambles today. In fact, it is the only league he bets on. Several fans have been calling for the induction of Pete Rose into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame after the legalization of sports betting. He currently has a wife and five children as well as a net worth of $3 million.
The late Paul Hornung was an incredibly versatile and glamorous NFL player in the 50s and 60s. During a promising career, he was able to win four championships and was also part of the team that won the first Super Bowl. However, he is mostly remembered for the gambling scandal that ruined his glittering career in the NFL.
Hornung was found guilty of betting on football games and this resulted in him being suspended from the game indefinitely in 1963. However, his suspension was later reduced to one season after he successfully proved that he only bet on his team to win.
He served his suspension with fellow NFL star Alex Karras. Though they only spent hundreds of dollars on bets during that period, it is still very significant because athletes weren’t earning so much then. Unlike Pete Rose, Paul Hornung later got inducted into the Hall of Fame.
So, what’s this thing that gets an athlete involved in gambling? Is it their competitiveness or the satisfaction they get from winning? We don’t have an answer to that but we hope you enjoyed reading this article.