Michael Jordan
Photo: John Swart/Associated Press

Michael Jordan’s gambling habits aren’t exactly new. It has been covered in many books and documentaries by the man himself, friends, and close accomplices. For the sports hero, gambling was more fun and entertainment than anything negative.

While many people try to cover the former star’s life with terms like Jordan’s gambling addiction and poker troubles. He did enjoy gambling just like his career. He is well known to stake on anything and regularly play at online casinos and land-based centers like the Atlantic City casino.

One of the most notable Michael Jordan gambling streaks was in 1993. During this period, observers stated he had a gambling problem, and the controversial money laundering plot in 1993 only fueled the issue. He debunked the rumors and observations and stated that he does not have an addiction to bets but loves to compete. Over the years, his statement has proven correct as the man is one of the wealthiest sport personalities who still punts for the thrill.

This article will cover the history of Michael Jordan and gambling, a hobby that he was willing to spend significant sums on and not blink an eye.

Early Life

Experts at PikachuCasinos analyzed the history of Jordan’s bets on online casinos with different minimum deposits like $1. They found that the star’s love for the lights started around high school before his fame. Then, he would go against just about anyone, including his prom date, who he once wrote about. He had sent the girl that he was glad she cleared off the debt he had won against her. This letter episode was revealed by Roland Lazenby in his Book Michael Jordan: The Life.

Another evidence that he was already a recognized gambler was a 1982 cheque of $5 he wrote a student after the latter won an outcome against. He offered the student cash, but the latter opted for a check because he believed Jordan would be famous and the document would be worth much more. Jordan became a pro basketballer, and the student auctioned the Cheque for a much bigger prize.

The significant feature of this period in the star’s life was that all wagers were significantly smaller than what he eventually became known for over the years. His breakthrough in the court opened him to a much bigger world, and the player used the opportunity to do what he loved the most.


The NBA made MJ money, and that means he had the opportunity to wager bigger and as often as he desired. He did use the opportunity as much as he could. He wagered against popular players like Ahmad Rashad, Lacy Banks, and Sam Smith. He was a strong winner and was excellent with cards.

He also bet on horses, which many people believed he influenced to win. However, there is not a lot of evidence to support these claims. He was also rumored to indulge in mobile game options, including a basketball slot once or twice.

For Jordan, wagering was like sports, and he always took on any competitor. He even played with a teenage rookie Kwame Brown. Though this drew the disapproval of Johnny Bach, the Bulls assistant coach. Jordan, however, tried to keep his profession and public persona separate from his hobby. His night card winning ritual did not affect his record on the court at the beginning.

Michael Jordan
Photo: basketballnetwork.net

Conspiracy Theories : Slim Bouler & Richard Esquinas controversy

Like the popular term, a little too much of everything isn’t the best. Jordan’s love for the game eventually led to a couple of distractions. He generally played cards but also incorporated golf wagering. That was where he spent quite a lot and even accumulated gambling debt once or twice within the range of one to two million dollars.

Jordan’s continuous playing attracted the media, but he could navigate his way well enough until 1993 when he was linked with convicted drug businessman James Slim. He was asked about a Cheque of $57,000 he had written to the convict. He initially stated that the funds were due to a business deal he checked Slim on.

He, however, admitted that it was a debt he owed the man from wagering. The controversy was not the only one directed at Jordan. The 6th episode of The Last Dance also threw light on the star’s gaming inclination. He loves the competition of winning against an opponent so much that he barely lets any opportunity pass. However, this also led to Esquinas calling him out about a $1.25m debt. Jordan denied it, and the accuser eventually stated that he had settled for $300,000.

MJ was well known to wager in South and North Carolina alongside popular star Magic Johnson. The star, however, attracted the angst of fans after he gambled during the 1993 eastern conference finals. The Chicago Bulls lost Game 2 of the competition. They eventually won the championship, but the dye was cast, and the star knew he had to reduce the publicity of his hobby. He never had any real issue with his team in the League or subsequent NBA finals.

First Retirement

One of the most remarkable moments of MJ’s profession was his first retirement. Many people believed that he was suspended. This view was held after MJ stated that he would be back if NBA commissioner David stern lets him in in his retirement press conference. At this time, there were rumors that Jordan owed quite a lot, and most news media tried to relate the supposed debts to the murder of his father. None of these claims were ever proven.
MJ is now one of the wealthiest personalities in the World’s sport entertainment, and not much is said about wagering anymore. Some believe that he now plays in an online casino (オンカジ). Such platforms ensure full security and offer lots of game variations that compete with most land-based centers.


To date, Jordan still gambles. He hasn’t exactly won millions from it, and it would be a far stretch to think that is his intention. The golf bettor only plays for the love of it. He barely cares if he wins or loses, he loves to compete and try to win. One thing he has done, though, is to avoid the limelight as much as possible, a position he has tried to set up since his dad’s passing.