Famous sports champions and winning athletes simply love to feel the adrenaline rush, both on and off the field. And while some of them simply engage in extreme sports or competitions that are completely out of their home domain, others prefer more glamorous activity – gambling. Whether you want to try online baccarat game on the reviewed casinos, poker, or slots in Las Vegas casino, when it comes to gambling, athletes are equally seduced by the chance of winning just like us. 

Michael Jordan

Michael Air Jordan didn’t only have a tremendously successful basketball career, a little less impressive baseball career, but he had a gambling career as well. During his break from basketball in 1993, Jordan was a familiar face to everyone visiting an online casino from Caesars and gambling venues in the Atlantic City, and some of his colleagues reported he had a bad habit of losing as much as $165,000 in a single night. Some might even say that his basketball hiatus wasn’t completely voluntary, but imposed due to his gambling addiction. The rumor has it that David Stern knew how much bad publicity would Jordan’s suspension cause for the NBA, so he turned the story around and convinced Jordan that the best thing he can do is to take a break and save his reputation. The Chicago Bulls star accepted the offer and the rest is history or at least a good story. 

Tiger Woods

February 13, 2020; Pacific Palisades, California, USA; Tiger Woods hits onto the twelfth hole green during the first round of the The Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Tiger Woods, the first man of color, to win the Masters Tournament of golf, left us impressed with his game, but also with his gambling skills. Unlike some, who like to keep their gambling interests a secret, Woods is pretty open about it, prefers poker out of all games, and even organizes gambling events for charities. Tiger is not always winning, but he keeps a good attitude and seems to understand gambling much better than other professional athletes. Woods has been hosting the Tiger Jam for over two decades, an event that has become a staple in Las Vegas. He has also been actively advocating the legalization of sports betting across the USA. 

Wayne Rooney

The record English goalscorer Wayne Rooney didn’t fill out the daily newspapers only because of his sports achievements, but also because of his bad habit of drinking and driving. The popular footballer admits that in addition to that, he also fancies some sports betting and casino games, and was obsessed with it early in his career. According to one interview, Rooney explained how in his early days in Manchester United, he would be so bored that he simply started betting on sports. “I was a young lad who’d just come into a lot of money,” he said and added how it didn’t even feel like real money, but has now learned from his mistakes. 

Charles Barkley

Sep 13, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Charles Barkley admires his sculpture at the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

NBA star Charles Barkley is another basketball player on this list. This Alabama born and raised, a star of Houston Rockets and San Antonio Suns, and a member of the Dream Team in the early 90s, was also the most useful NBA player in 1993/94, but younger audiences know him as the analyst from Inside the NBA. Allegedly, Barkley knows not only a thing or two about basketball, but also about gambling. He is a regular customer in many Las Vegas casino venues, prefers blackjack out of all games and is, just like Tiger Woods, advocating the legalization of sports betting. “The notion that you have to go to Vegas and bet on sports is silly. It should have been legal a long time ago”, he said. 

John Daly

One of the best golfers of all time, John Daly, doesn’t keep his interest in gambling a secret. In his autobiography, he even remembers some of his most ludicrous bets, as well as some most profitable moves. Daly, who is now worth over $2 million is always open about his habits and his staggering bets and even remembers telling his fourth wife that he’ll throw her off a bridge if she keeps complaining after he wins at a casino. John’s attitude and long-swing play are transferred to his betting style as well. According to one rumor, Daly became obsessed with winning on a slot machine that cost $5,000 per spin and he kept playing and playing for five hours.