Betting games have been popular among the elite throughout history. In modern times, this may truer than it was anytime in the past.
From more remote history, there is the story of the Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, who was a fervent gambler. In 1726, he reputedly remained glued to his seat at a gambling table for a full day. He even refused food during the gaming spree. His servant tried to offer him a bit of meat during the session, but the earl only accepted it when it placed between two slices of bread so that he could easily continue play. Supposedly, this is how the “sandwich” received its name.
Here are some examples of more recent notables and their exploits in the betting world:
• Charles Barkley
– The former basketball “widebody” great loves the sporting life even in retirement. Barkley himself admits that he has lost more than $10 million playing at casinos.
• John McCain
The U.S. senator and former presidential campaign was once a prisoner-of-war in Vietnam. According to reliable sources, McCain will sometimes spend up to 14 hours straight on the craps table.
• Tiger Woods
The famed golfing sensation is a known big-stakes gambler. He will sometimes throw down bets of $25,000 per hand in Blackjack.
• Phil Mickelson
Tiger Wood’s golfing competitor, Mickelson reportedly was once so in debt due to gambling that he switched brands to raise money only days before the start of the 2004 Ryder Cup.
• Pamela Anderson
According to reports, Pamela Anderson once accumulated gambling debts of $250,000.
Ben Affleck – A gambling addict, Ben even won the 2004 California State Poker Championship.
• Larry Flint
Publisher of the steamy Hustler magazine, Flint is one of Vegas’ highest-betting stud poker players.
Paris Hilton – Hilton’s family owns a Las Vegas casino, which she frequently patronizes. She also shows up at other top Vegas casino resorts.
Michael Jordan – Air Jordan reportedly lost a million dollars betting on himself in a golf match.
• Gladys Knight
While the gambling habits of the Pips is unknown, the soulful lead singer once bet up to $40,000 each night playing baccarat. Eventually though, she learned to control her habit.
Rap singer 50 Cent may have been the first celebrity to publish his betting success over social media. The rapper tweeted before the NFC Championship Game that he bet on the New York Giants over the San Francisco 49ers. When the Giants won, 50 Cent tweeted a photo of himself holding $500,000 cash that he won from the bet.
• Paul Anka
According to singer Paul Anka, fellow crooner Frank Sinatra would bet high stakes at the Vegas tables while headlining at the Sands. Anka states that the Chairman of the Board had come to expect $50,000 of free chips a night. At one point, Sinatra worked up a debt of $500,000 at the Sands and went on a drunken rampage.