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Top NBA Players Who Love Casinos

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Washington D.C, United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

All celebrities in various industries sell the same product: talent. Given the amount of time and effort they put into mastering their craft, it is no surprise that most celebrities indulge in mind-altering activities such as gambling on occasion. Furthermore, casinos are strongly associated with the coveted celebrity lifestyle.

Here is our list of the Top 5 Gambler Celebrities:

Even though many celebrities are avid gamblers, not all are great gamblers but nonetheless, NBA players and other celebrities with money to flaunt have the knack to take things to the next level. Some of their gambling patterns may be considered unconventional by the average gambler, but perfectly normal considering their hefty salaries.

Michael Jordan

Although the star denies his appetite for gambling, often referring to it as a competitive spirit, his words are insufficient to cover his fame in high roller casinos. Michael Jordan is a skilled gambler and one of the few who has built a respectable career in the industry since retiring from professional basketball. He is regarded as an original gambler because his habit dates back to his childhood.

Michael has played almost any casino game imaginable, including cards, golf, and off-the-books games with coworkers and security guards. Former teammate Jay Williams even recounted Jordan’s $100,000 wager on Rock-Scissor-Paper.

One of his most famous gambling stories involves an auctioned-off check from 1982. The cheque belonged to a North Carolina schoolmate who had defeated him in a pool table game and had requested a cheque after sensing his future stardom. His teammates are his most frequently mentioned subjects.

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Seth Curry

Basketball talent is not the only trait that runs in the Curry family. The family is well-known for its enthusiasm for recreational casino gaming. Seth Curry, in particular, has had a lot of success betting on casino games. He claims he isn’t in it for the money, and he clearly bets without a care in the world. His favorite places to visit are Los Angeles and Las Vegas, where he frequently makes appearances in luxury casinos.        

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley is also a deliberate gambler who has racked up quite the reputation on casino tables. Barkley became a gambling sensation after admitting staking close to $10 million in Las Vegas

Despite the media frenzy, he has silently made a lot of money from casino games. In one case, the star revealed to Phoenix’s KTVK that he had won around $700,000 over a single weekend outing. He continues to bet to date and his moves appear to be more well-planned as he gathers more gaming experience.

Antoine Walker

One of the titles that have been sensational in gambling is Antoine Walker. The former Celtics player learned how to gamble from the legendary Michael Jordan. By 2009, he had started making headlines in popular casinos. 

The celebrity has a track record of playing in high roller casinos such as Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, and Red Rock Casino and Spa.

Charles Oakley

Oakley’s love for gambling has seen him compete with the best players in the industry. The star is also well-known in gambling circles for having a hard heart for losers who refuse to pay. For example, Oakley and Tyron Hill had a dramatic preseason start in 2000 after the former threw balls at Hill for allegedly failing to pay $54,000 he owed in a dice game between the two.

He is a household name among casino titans and is known to use conventional and unconventional tactics to throw off his opponent’s gaming strategy. Unlike other basketball celebrities who try to keep their love for casinos secret, Barkley never shies to talk about his winning streaks like the $750,000 lump sum he made wagering on the Indianapolis Colts back in 2007.  

J.R. Smith

Smith, unlike the majority of the gamblers on this list, is perceived as a more strategic and self-moderated gambler. In one case, he told cops that he had misplaced a briefcase containing $15,000 that he had set aside for gambling but did not seem like much of a loss since fortune seems to smile on him more often than not in casinos.

Smith was a frequent customer at casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City where he indulged jolly gamblers in his favorite Poker and blackjack games.


Each of these basketball superstars represents a different type of gambler profile. Indeed, you make your own luck when it comes to casino gaming. Stay up to date on the latest gambling developments by reading about your favorite casino games and basketball stars, as well as how they handle themselves in high stake casino games.

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