It’s no secret that some athletes aren’t just interested in playing sports. Plenty indulge in a bit of gambling and sports betting as well. Though it’s certainly unethical to bet on yourself, there is no reason why athletes can’t enjoy a game of poker or a horse bet or two.

Michael Jordan

This basketball icon isn’t a newcomer to the gambling scene. Arguably one of the most famous gamble-loving athletes, he’s definitely top of this list. Besides gambling, he also owns business stakes at a Washington casino, the Ilani Casino Resort.

Favorite Form of Gambling

Almost everything – rock, paper, scissors, golf games, poker, craps, and casinos. It appears Michael will make a bet on almost anything as well as spending time playing casino games with friends or at the casino.

Charles Barkley

The retired pro-basketball player loves to drop some cash at the blackjack table. Stories about him and Michael Jordan’s gambling abound online. His on-again-off-again relationship with gambling is well known.

In his opinion it’s a past-time he can afford. He swore off gambling in 2008 only to come back a few years later.

Favorite Things to Gamble on

Charles loves to hit the casinos in Las Vegas for a hand of poker or blackjack.

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd loves to share his winning bets with the world via social media. It’s no secret he likes to bet and brag about his high stakes.

With a net worth of $400 million, he can afford to bet on his favorite sports. He’s won bets as well, so it appears he does not lack in the skill or luck departments.

Favorite Form of Gambling

Floyd loves to bet on his favorite sports – American football and basketball.

Wayne Rooney

As one of the wealthiest and most famous English football players, Wayne is no stranger to dropping £500,000 at the casino in one day. 

He started as soon as he was making good money in his second year at Everton. Most of his first experiences involved placing bets on horses, football matches, and dog racing.

Favorite Table Games

Wayne loves a good game of blackjack or a spin on the roulette wheel.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is a pro on the golf pitch, but he’s also a high-flyer at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas. He can be found frequenting the blackjack table where he has a limit of $1 Million.

He’s also famous for hosting his Tiger Jam poker charity event in Las Vegas. Many famous athletes and celebs who love to gamble get involved.

Favorite Card Game

Tiger loves to go to online and offline casinos to play blackjack.

Mario Balotelli

You could call Mario a bit of a philanthropic gambler. After winning £25,000, the former Manchester and Liverpool player gave away a sum of £1000 to a homeless person he met outside.

Favorite Form of Gambling

The Italian loves to go to the casino to play various table games.

Pete Rose

Pete made the mistake of betting on baseball while he was still involved in the game. He got a lifetime ban and has been trying to find his way back in ever since.

Favorite Baseball Team to Bet on

Betting on the Reds was his gamble of choice. Not the most fabulous idea when you play in the team, and you’re the team’s manager.

John Daly

The pro-golfer talks openly in this autobiography about his gambling habit. It is estimated he has lost around $60 Million at the casino. On the plus side, he’s not famous for owing anyone money, and he has won a fair share back.

Favorite Form of Gambling

John loves slot games and sports betting.

Michael Phelps

The Olympic champion isn’t only famous for his swimming. When he ended his swimming career back in 2016, there were rumours he might be starting a professional poker career.

Favorite Form of Gambling

Michael loves high-stakes poker tournaments like the World Series of Poker’s Championship.

Alex Rodriguez

The famous baseball star might be even more infamous for his gambling than he is famous for baseball.

Favorite Form of Gambling

Rumor has it illegal poker rings are his thing.

Why do athletes love to gamble?

It’s interesting to ponder just how much money some of these athletes may have spent on gambling. Of course, being some of the wealthiest people on earth, it’s evident that none of them felt it too hard no matter how much they lost.