Sports Monks

Why Some Sports Stars Just Love to Bet

Many people can’t have failed to notice several sports stars getting something of a reputation for enjoying a gamble over the years. While this may not be any more common than with the average public, their high profile certainly makes it more visible. But are there particular reasons why our sporting heroes are drawn to this activity?

There’s no denying that casinos are glamorous places where the well-heeled often choose to go in their leisure time. The fact that many sports stars could definitely be considered as high net worth individuals certainly puts them in this category. Many also like to go out and be seen in exclusive nightspots where the paparazzi will no doubt be lying in wait seeing who they can snap.

So that may explain their presence at the casino – and there are plenty of examples to draw on. For example, one of sport’s most famous gamblers is basketball player Charles Barkley. He estimates that over the years he may have spent around $10 million in casinos, principally playing blackjack. It’s a similar story for friend and fellow hoop hero Michael Jordan.


Michael B. Jordan” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore

Tiger Woods is another leading sports celebrity who is known to enjoy a high risk wager, as well as being the subject of some pretty big bets himself. Even soccer player and former England captain Wayne Rooney is said to have spent a seven-figure sum on betting while still in his 20s.

In trying to figure out why this is so common, one of the most obvious reasons is that highly-paid sportspeople have the money to spare. Why they chose to use it to gamble is another question altogether.

One thing that all of these gambling aficionados have in common is that they’re highly competitive, and this is what has helped them reach the top of their respective sports. They are also generally fairly extroverted. So being seen out and about, spending highly and, hopefully, winning is probably preferable to them to behaving more discreetly and playing, for example, on this site. Because, despite there being a good range of games and added convenience, plus the anonymity of being able to play away from the public’s gaze, an online casino may well not be what they want when it comes to being in the public eye.

Then, there’s the risk-taking element to be considered. This is something that sportspeople at the top of their game tend to take in their stride and may even have in their DNA. They are trained and experienced to continue performing at their best even when the pressure is intense. The fact that they even seem to feed off adrenaline-soaked experiences is surely something that can be put to good use.

Last but not least, there is all the spare time that professional athletes have on their hands. When they’re not playing or training, they have to fill their days and nights in somehow. So why not at the casino?

These all add up to the perfect conditions to enjoy the thrills of trying their luck, and it’s a phenomenon that’s likely to be with us for some time to come.

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