Celebrities Who Love To Gamble

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Casinos attract people from across the social spectrum – playing host to gambling lovers from the shop floor to the top floor of society. And yes, that includes celebrities who enjoy playing their favourite casino games as much as the next person.

This means that average Joes visiting a casino can not only stand the chance of winning big – but also have the added incentive of perhaps meeting an A-lister in person.

Let’s look at five household name who have a particular passion for gambling – and reveal where you might hope to spot them on the casino tables.

Who? Philip Green, Businessman

Where? Les Ambassadeurs, Mayfair, London

66-year-old retail billionaire Philip Green is not everyone’s cup of tea. Along with his wife Tina, Green was the owner of now-defunct British Home Stores and Arcadia Group, before selling it in dubious circumstances in 2015.

This retail mogul is worth around $5bn, but he clearly loves the excitement of playing for more money. On one night in 2005, Green walked away from Les Ambassadeurs with a £2 million haul from playing roulette. He’d allegedly been wagering tens of thousands of pounds on each spin of the wheel, and his outrageous gamble paid off in spectacular style.

Barely weeks later, he returned and won another £1 million, which prompted the owners of Les Ambassadeurs (LCI) to offer a profit warning to investors.

Who? Mario Balotelli, footballer

Where? 235 Casino, Manchester

Italian footballer Mario Balotelli has long courted controversy. While paying for Manchester City, videos of him fighting a training top went viral. Then, a story about him setting of fireworks in his bathroom filled the newspapers.

After a stunning 6-1 win over city rivals Manchester United, Balotelli reportedly drove around the city high-fiving anyone he saw in a Manchester City jersey. The striker’s notoriety often overshadowed his on-field performances and painted him in a negative light.

However, in 2011 he hit the papers for positive reasons. After winning £25,000 at the roulette table, he spotted a familiar face when leaving the casino. Balotelli recognised a beggar with a ginger beard that he had seen around Manchester before and handed him a wod of cash. It wasn’t just small change, either – it was £1,000.

Now he’s plying his trade in Nice, you might need to head to a casino France to find him spinning the wheel again.

Who? Ben Affleck, actor

Where? Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas

American movie star Ben Affleck first rose to prominence appearing in the independent movie ‘The Dark End of the Street’ in 1981. Since then he has gone on to star in films such as ‘State of Play’, ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Suicide Squad’.

But acting hasn’t been his only passion. He’s a formidable figure at many casino tables across America. In 2004, he won the California Poker Championship and has won hundreds of thousands of dollars at various casinos since.

However, in 2014 he was banned from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for allegedly card-counting while playing blackjack. Many experts have had their say on Affleck’s alleged card-counting and believe he was employing a primitive method which ultimately got him caught. If he’d learned these tips for effective card counting, who knows, he might have got away with it.

Yet the actor initially refused to admit his guilt, claiming: “I became decent, the casinos asked me not (sic) play blackjack. I mean the fact that being good at the game is against the rules that the casinos (sic) should tell you something about the casinos.”

He later admitted he had card-counted.

While you may not expect to see him back at Hard Rock anytime soon, there’s every chance you’ll encounter him at other casinos in Vegas.

Who? Paris Hilton, TV personality

Where? Harrah’s Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas

The blonde bombshell was all over our TV screens at the turn of the 21st century. She was perhaps one of the first people to find fame purely through being a ‘socialite’. The heir of the Hilton hotel chain has never wanted for anything in her life and has certainly lived well.

Despite no formal acting or musical experience, Hilton has appeared in several music videos, released her own single and being featured in Hollywood films. In 2015 she was even asked to DJ at the famous Harrah Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

After scooping $100,000 for her DJ appearance, Hilton headed to the blackjack table in the casino. Later that night she posted a picture to her Instagram of hundred dollar bills after allegedly winning $50,000 on the table. It wasn’t bad for a few hours’ work.

If she’s got the hunger for a flutter most of us would have after striking it so lucky, she’ll be back to try to repeat her success someday.

Who? Victoria Coren Mitchell, TV host

Where? European Poker Tour

To many people in the UK, Victoria Coren Mitchell is known as the witty, erudite host Only Connect and the voice of several Radio 4 documentaries and comedies. She’s also married to David Mitchell, the British funnyman who was co-star of Peep Show and That Mitchell and Webb Look.

One thing that many people don’t know about Coren Mitchell is her poker prowess. After graduating from Oxford University, she dabbled in writing before taking to cards and became the first woman to win an event on the European Poker Tour.

She also became the first person ever to win the European Poker Tour twice, pocketing an estimated £1.5 million in the process. Cash games are Coren Mitchell’s preference and she recently won £400,000 in a cash game in Italy.

Don’t be surprised to see Coren Mitchell try to repeat her success on the European Poker Tour in the next couple of years.

While it may be entertaining to read about, don’t forget – the losses incurred by celebrities are very rarely reported. Plus, winning $50,000 at blackjack is a whole lot easier when you’re betting thousands of dollars in the first place. However, if you retrace the steps of these celebs, you might find them trying their luck on the same tables once again.

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