Five sports stars who gamble

Playing on any of the casino games that are available today is both thrilling and entertaining, whether it’s a spin on the slots or a game of poker. With that in mind, it’s inevitable that people from all walks of life will want to sample the excitement, and yes, that includes sports stars.

Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney recently hit the headlines for spending around half a million pounds on the blackjack and roulette tables in a local casino. However, he’s not the only big name from the sporting world that has been known to enjoy himself on the casino games. Here are five sports stars who gamble, starting with the United forward.

Wayne Rooney


Unfortunately for Rooney, this recent revelation isn’t the first time that he has been alleged to have racked up major gambling debts. Back in 2006, when he was England’s golden boy, Rooney was reported to have accrued debts of £700,000 in the space of five months betting on sports ranging from football to horse racing.

However, this time, he was believed to have lost around £4,000 a minute in a two-hour spell in Manchester on casino games. Those inside the venue said he switched between blackjack and roulette tables, whilst laying down massive stakes, and he clearly didn’t have much luck!

Joey Barton


Rooney isn’t the only Premier League footballer to have hit the news for his gambling habits in the past few months. Controversial ex-Burnley player Joey Barton is currently serving an 18-month ban from football for his gambling addiction.

Throughout a 10-year spell the midfielder had placed over one thousand bets on games at different levels of the sport, including on his own team. In a statement released after his ban, Barton revealed he had tried to fight the addiction and that his integrity was not in doubt. Either way, his gambling exploits brought a quicker end to his colourful career than he had hoped.

John Daly


It’s fair to say that John Daly was not your stereotypical golfer. Known for his wacky outfits and long drives on the course, the American managed to win two major championships. Yet, despite that it’s his antics away from the course that he will be remembered for by some.

As well as publicised problems with alcohol, Daly liked to gamble. Notable stories include throwing $65,000 in winnings off a bridge after an argument with his partner and losing $1.5m in Vegas on the slots, shortly after earning $750k at a tournament! All together, it’s estimated that Daly lost over $50m at the casino.

Alex Rodriguez


Alex Rodriguez, or ‘A-Rod’ as he is known, was one of the most prominent players in baseball and had a successful career, particularly with the Yankees. But, he was another sports star who drew attention to himself away from the field and another who enjoyed gambling.

A-Rod was alleged to be a part of the reported illegal gambling ring that included several A-list stars, including Tobey Maguire, Matt Damon and Leonardo Di Caprio. The buy in for these poker events, allegedly held at Beverley Hills mansions, was said to be at $100,000!

Michael Phelps


Away from the pool, Michael Phelps is known to be a keen gambler, particularly when it comes to the poker tables. The most decorated Olympian of all time’s playing habits became front page news when he was stopped for DUI by cops in Baltimore having supposedly spent eight-hours at the tables beforehand.

Furthermore, Phelps has participated in several major poker events over the years. Just last month he was seen playing at a $10,000 No Limit Hold’em event at the World Series of Poker, and he’s sure to make similar appearances in the future.

That covers five sports stars who love to gamble. Whether it’s blackjack, roulette or poker, sports stars are no different to the rest of us when it comes to playing. You can experience the unpredictability of the casino games with Lucky Nugget Casino, although you may not be able to spend as much as some of those guys did!