Lots of people gamble on sports around the world, but did you know that some of the biggest gamblers are sports stars themselves? Aside from athletes, there are lots of big names associated with the sports world that wager eye-watering amounts of money at the tracks, in the casino, or on just about anything else.
This is a list of the biggest degen gamblers associated with sports.
White is the high-flying boss of the UFC, so as you probably guessed, he has no shortage of cash to wager on whatever he wants, and if he loses a few hundred grand, he’ll probably have made it back by the time it leaves his pocket. White is renowned for playing high-stakes blackjack, and he’s also known as a gifted card counter who has been known to wager six figures per hand at times.
There are lots of folk stories about White’s colossal wagers. However, perhaps the most hilarious is when he won so much at The Palms in Las Vegas that they ejected him from the casino and refused to even bag his winnings for him, leaving him and his security team to carry hundreds of thousands in cash to his car in bin liners. We guess even the UFC boss can get the cold shoulder from casinos for card counting!
Unlike the others on this list, Billy Walters was neither an athlete or in any way an owner of a sports team or brand. Instead, he is the world’s most famous sports bettor. He made so much money that he was banned from every bookmaker in Vegas. The average professional gamblers‘ salary is probably around six figures, but Walters made millions per year from his endeavours.
Walters is said to have built entire secret computer systems to give him accurate betting predictions as well as other sports. Later in life, Walters dipped into financial betting, something that would ultimately land him in prison for insider trading.
It’s probably no surprise that the richest athlete in sports history would dabble in occasional high stakes gambling. Jordan only made $93 million playing basketball professionally, but his endorsements and other business ventures made him a billionaire.
Jordan’s gambling stories are legendary, with several reports that he regularly spent millions at the high stakes tables in Las Vegas. It’s also reported that he once exited his limo and blew $100k in a few minutes playing dice with some guys on a street corner. That may be an urban myth, but it’s illustrative of Jordan’s extraordinary gambling habits.
Wayne Rooney makes over £15 million a year playing soccer. He’s one of the greatest strikers in EPL history, and he’s known for being a bit of a degenerate gambler, too.
It’s reported that Rooney once owed bookies £600k when his career was just starting out. That’s a lot of dough, but we’re sure his salary has taken care of that long ago. He’s also reportedly a big fan of roulette and has been seen betting tens of thousands and trying his latest roulette strategy.