Legendary Athletes Who Enjoyed Gambling

Throughout their careers, even the most celebrated athletes inevitably face challenges. You might be astonished to learn how many high-profile athletes have ruined their careers with questionable gambling.



As a leisure activity, gambling may be tremendously satisfying when practiced moderately. Addiction is what makes it harmful.


Players who have reached certain career milestones are rewarded handsomely financially. Perhaps this explains why so many celebrity athletes seem to care less about their gambling habits than the average Joe. Ten athletes who took chances with their careers, if you’re interested.


The following five players consistently place large wagers at professional levels:


Top Ten: Lloyd Honeyghan

Llyod Honeyghan is a retired British boxer of Jamaican ancestry. From 1980 till 1995, he was a competitor. The retired boxer was the undisputed champion at welterweight in 1986 and 1987. In addition, he won the welterweight championship of the World Boxing Council (WBC), Ring magazine, and the lineal championship thrice.


Boxers have the unique ability to wager on their own matches. In 1985, Honeyghan faced the fan favorite Don “Cobra” Curry, and no one gave him a chance. The boxer, fortunately, was not lacking in confidence. He gambled $5,000 at odds of five-to-one on himself and won, accomplishing the seemingly impossible.


Nine. Pete Rose

In his prime, American baseball player and manager Pete Rose was a legend. He spent the years 1963–1989 as a Major League Baseball player.


The former baseball player was accused of gambling on games while playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds. Rose allegedly placed daily bets of at least $10,000.


He was even accused of betting against his own club in the past. In interviews, he admitted to gambling on games while both playing and managing. The athlete refuted this, saying instead that he often bets on the Reds. In 1989, he received an indefinite suspension from attending baseball games. That’s when his career collapsed and his gambling habit took off.


The baseball player’s gambling problem continued even after he was barred from playing. Pete Rose’s annual income from endorsements and autograph signings is approximately $1 million.


Eighth, Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has been the most visible player in the PGA Tour for almost a decade. He has more name recognition than any other golfer. He really is the best there is at what he does. His reputation, however, had been damaged by the association of his name with various scandals.


Gambling is one of his vices. He famously dropped millions playing Blackjack. It has been stated that Tiger wagered $25,000 on a single hand of his preferred casino table game. It was said that the professional golfer gambled away an astounding $50 million in Las Vegas.


It has been said that Tiger Woods will risk $200,000 on a single hand of Blackjack. After all, he is just playing his favorite game. His growing penchant for gambling has been attributed by some to his exposure to the ‘High-roller’ lifestyle. The player is now worth over $1 billion, according to estimates.


Some even claim that Wood’s shady personal life and shaky professional golfing reputation can be traced back to his penchant for high-stakes gambling.


7 – Barkley, Charles

Charles Barkley will forever be remembered by legions of basketball fans. The now-retired basketball player had a reputation as a dominant force on the glass. He was a prolific scorer and a versatile player. Barkley had a serious problem off the court that drained his earnings as a professional basketball player. His fortune is estimated at $40 million this year.


The basketball player’s gambling problem spiraled out of control on multiple occasions. Charles said in 2017 on a talk show that he had gambled away over $20 million. That’s an enormous sum, almost $30 million.


The former athlete’s history of problematic gambling is public knowledge. Barkley, though, became resolute in his resolve to alter his outlook on his gambling problem. He stated that he received a rude awakening that made gambling a lot more enjoyable for him. This is because his social circle collectively branded him an idiot for his irrational financial decisions.


Charles Barkley was widely regarded as one of the greatest NBA players of all time. He spent 16 years as a professional player. He played for the Philadelphia 76ers, the Phoenix Suns, and the Houston Rockets, all of which are NBA franchises.


The former basketball great appears to be doing fine now that he has retired. He was most last spotted in July 2019 competing in the American Century Championship.


Rooney, Wayne, No. 6

A great football player, Wayne Rooney. He was a soccer star who suited up for Manchester United, Everton, and the England national team as captain. This English footballer was once recognized as the sport’s brightest star. His wealth is estimated at $120 million. Before his retirement in 2017, this made him the fourth wealthiest footballer in the world.


Rooney’s stellar football career was interrupted by a period of major gambling issues he faced around age twenty.


There were rumors that the legendary striker owed more than a million dollars in debt. In addition to soccer and horses, he also bet on pets. It was also said that he once spent only two hours in a casino and lost a hundred thousand dollars.


The ex-captain’s gambling issues were reported on in news outlets across the country. Even the Church of England criticized him for openly endorsing 32Red, a popular online casino. The former England football captain inked a multimillion-pound overall deal with the sports betting industry, and was criticized for being a detrimental influence on sports fans.


It’s good news that the former English player has finally decided to give up his destructive gambling habit. His family—wife and adoring children—are to thank. He has finally matured to the point where he does not wish to take any chances with his 11-year marriage.


Five. John Daly

John Daly has won multiple golf tournaments. Since then, he had never been secretive about his problem with gambling. Fans were taken aback by the athlete’s admission of his devotion. Former professional golfer and 1991 PGA champion says he wasted $55 million between 1991 and 2007.


Daly admitted he lost more than $90 million at the casino. The golfer said that his hazardous pastime only netted him $35 million. He had some truly legendary gambling sessions. He once lost $1.65 million in five hours at $5,000 slot machines, and it’s one of his most compelling gambling tales.


  1. Schlichter, No. 4

American football quarterback Arthur Schlichter has retired from the professional ranks. He has a reputation for his four-decade long gambling habit. His career was derailed by his compulsive gambling and the legal issues that followed. In 1983, he was handed a suspension by the National Football League.


In 1985, he was forced to give up football due to gambling debts of $700,000. Later, in 2012, Art was apprehended for his role in a multi-million dollar sports-betting scheme.

Art is currently in federal jail for a ten year sentence. He was found responsible for the theft of many million dollars. The ex-quarterback robbed banks to fund his destructive gambling habit.


Phil Mickelson, No. 3

Professional golfer Philip Mickelson hails from the United States. The name “Lefty” has become synonymous with him. He has triumphed many times. His three Masters crowns, PGA Championship, and Open Championship victories are among his many accomplishments.


However, Lefty is said to have a significant gambling problem. His golfing peers reportedly cost him over $200,000 in losses. There are also rumors that Mickelson will wager on anything. Included in them are accounts of his winning tens of thousands of dollars on bets involving the Super Bowl and the World Series.


‘Lefty’ Phil Mickelson, a legendary golfer, is estimated to be worth approximately $400 million. There are various gambling anecdotes in the professional golfer’s past. After the birth of their son Evan, Phil thinks he has undergone a profound transformation.


Floyd ‘Money’ Junior Mayweather

The ‘Money’ Floyd It was Mayweather Junior who made boxing history by becoming the first athlete to earn $1 billion fighting. He is both a former professional boxer and a promoter for the sport in the United States. Mayweather Jr. began boxing in 1996 and continued until 2015. In 2017, he returned for one bout against Conor McGregor.


The legendary boxer was given the moniker “Money” for a specific reason. The reason is plain to see: his money. Between $700 million and $1 billion is how much money the boxing champion is thought to be worth. He is also well-known for his vast collection of high-end automobiles and private aircraft.


Before he retired, the affluent fighter was not allowed to wager on himself before his own bouts. It is said, however, that he engages in excessive gambling. Mayweather isn’t the only boxer who likes to talk about his victories. In some years, he made $90,000 from college football wagers. Not so long ago, he also won a $101,000 Video Poker jackpot, which was an incredible accomplishment.


Michael Jordan, No. 1

Michael Jordan will go down as one of the all-time greats in NBA annals. He dominated just as much on offense as he did on defense. The great athlete’s tenacious plays on the court stunned the crowd. Michael Jordan is likely worth more than a billion dollars. The wildest gambling tales he collected helped make him a king.


After retiring from professional basketball in 2003 at age 56, the legend quickly became recognized for his high-stakes gambling addiction. During a 1993 visit to a casino in Atlantic City, Jordan lost more than $165,000. The NBA champion was also sued by a businessman from San Diego who claimed the two men had played golf and that the entrepreneur was due $1.25 million.


The famous athlete reportedly lost over $5 million at the Craps table. His attention is typically drawn to stories about high-stakes gambling on the golf course. Jordan also has a propensity for losing large sums of money at the poker table. He was once seen playing poker with Charles Barkley.


Believe it or not, Michael’s gambling addiction drove him to place prop bets on practically everything. Once, on the way back from the Olympics, he bet on his own luggage making it. While the rest of the gang waited for their bags, Jordan made a bet that he would be the first to get his.


What’s the craziest part? He took home the easiest $900 he’d ever made that night thanks to his victory. But he admitted afterward that he had bribed the airport workers in order to win the prop bet. Well played, Michael.


The face of the Jordan brand’s multimillion dollar company placed a $100,000 wager on a game of rock, paper, scissors.


Michael Jordan is the reason basketball has millions of followers all around the world, despite his penchant for gambling. In the end, he is the NBA’s most iconic representative.


Jordan’s kind nature is one of the numerous reasons for his widespread popularity. A million dollars from Michael Jordan’s recent donation will help those affected by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. This act of generosity is just one of many that he has performed for the greater good.


According to reports, the basketball great has given out over a million dollars to various causes. He has a golden heart, which explains why he has a golden existence.






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