3 Iconic Musicians with a Gambling Addiction

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Even the most gifted and respected music artists can go a few steps too far when it comes to gambling. Some of them almost entirely destroyed their own lives.

The truth is that massive amounts of money and countless ways to easily earn more can be a very dangerous combination. These three musicians are perfect examples of that.

Lemmy Kilmister

Lemmy Kilmister was an English musician, best known as the founder of the legendary band Motorhead. Kilmister had deeply rooted gambling habits. Slot machines were his number one choice at casinos.

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In the documentary about his life and work, Dave Vanian, a fellow artist, talks about Lemmy’s gambling problems. Apparently, he visited a gambling club in London regularly, where he spent huge amounts of money and even hung out with various outlaws and gangsters.

Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight is known as the Empress of Soul. Besides her outstanding musicianship, her gambling addiction is also widely discussed. However, Knight has been one of the celebrities who has tackled the issue more honestly.

In her autobiography, Gladys Knight admits that she was so deep into sports betting and baccarat that she almost lost everything she has worked for.

One day, she woke up extremely inebriated after an intense night of gambling. She forgot to take her son to school. It was the turning point for Knight. She knew her fall was imminent if she didn’t change her lifestyle.

Frank Sinatra

A lovely voice and stage presence can go hand in hand with a heated temper at casinos. Frank Sinatra was proof of that. He was even rumored to mistreat the casino staff when they would deny him credit to gamble.

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A famous episode took place in 1967. Sinatra and Carl Cohen, the manager of the Sands casino, engaged in an argument that ended up with Cohen having chips thrown at his face and Sinatra missing two teeth.

At some point in their journeys, these three legendary artists have let gambling control their lives.

5 Celebrities Who Are Known to Be Gambling Addicts

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In all spheres of entertainment, you can find examples of people who have fallen for the trap of gambling addiction and have been betting with varying degrees of success. Here we have two athletes and three musicians.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is almost as known for his recurring gambling problems as he is for his outstanding talent for golf. Woods allegedly bets up to 25,000 dollars for each hand in blackjack. His addiction has led the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas to limit his gambling to a maximum of 1 million dollars.

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During many of his gambling sessions, he was accompanied by two of his friends and fellow athlete gambling addicts, Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley.

Allen Iverson

Allan Iverson is a prime example of how irresponsible gambling can destroy everything a person has worked for. He was a skilled basketball player who made 200 million dollars with the NBA.

Then, in an endless loop of gambling and drinking, Iverson threw it all in the trash. To this day, Allen Iverson is reportedly in debt. The addiction also cost him his family and business life, as his wife left him and many sponsors abandoned their deals.

The severe issue reached such a point that Iverson engaged in altercations with casino employees and has been banned from several gambling venues in Detroit and Atlantic City.

50 Cent

The rapper is famous for being an avid sports bettor and for placing some of the most extravagant bets you can think of. He bet 2 million dollars on Floyd Mayweather (another big-time gambler) at a boxing match against Manny Pacquiao.

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On another occasion, he bet 500,000 dollars on the New York Giants. The team ended up defeating the San Francisco 49ers and winning the Super Bowl.

CeeLo Green

CeeLo Green is the stage name of the acclaimed musician Thomas DeCarlo Callaway. In fact, Cee-Lo is the name of a popular casino game with varying rules and played with three six-sided dice.

CeeLo Green must really love gambling, then. You have probably noticed that much of the imagery in CeeLo’s videos and on the artwork for his music revolves around gambling, casinos and Vegas.

Sully Erna

Sully Erna is the lead vocalist for the successful metal band Godsmack and also performs solo since 2010. One of his most beloved games is poker.

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The tattoo on his back kind of says it all. Erna has inked four aces in flames along with the phrase “no justice”. Curiously, the tattoo was done after he lost a poker game.

Some of these celebs have ruined their lives while others have continuously had luck by their side. That’s gambling 101.

2 Famous Athletes with Gambling Problems

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A career in sports can make an athlete incredibly rich almost overnight. And celebrity sportsmen are not immune to fall into the traps of an immoderate gambling lifestyle. The more money you have, the more money you want. But the luck will eventually dry out if you choose to gamble, even online following proper US gambling laws.

When that time arrives and all the gambling problems come to the surface, the monetary and interpersonal losses can grow massive. Take a look at two successful athletes who have tasted the bittersweet thrill of gambling.

Pete Rose

Every time a list is published with the names of the biggest celebrity gamblers, Peter Rose is part of it. That’s because he has probably paid the highest price of them all. Peter Rose is an iconic baseball player. But many people have gone on to know him as a big-time baseball bettor.

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Around the time he was managing the Reds, Rose used to bet at least 10,000 dollars every day. The punishment for his conduct is unparalleled. He was banned from Major League Baseball.

And although he has made outstanding contributions to the sport throughout his career as a player and a manager, Rose is ineligible to enter the Hall of Fame.

Peter Rose is a living example of how a gambling addiction can lead to unmeasurable losses not only in money but to one’s life work and reputation.

Michael Jordan

Considered by many as the greatest basketball player to have ever lived, Michael Jordan has had his share of gambling problems. Being such a famous athlete, it is only natural that many of the stories surrounding his gambling addiction were merely fabricated.

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However, it is known that Jordan has bet thousands or millions of dollars at golf courses and casinos.

Many people say that, to this day, he still gambles frequently. Others even state that Jordan only stepped away from basketball for a couple of years and tried out a baseball career so that the NBA wouldn’t condemn his gambling addiction.

Other athletes with severe gambling problems include Charles Barkley, Floyd Mayweather and John Daly.