Five athletes that have an affinity for gambling

Five athletes that have an affinity for gambling


Five athletes that have an affinity for gambling


It’s no secret that former athletes love to gamble.

Once they call it quits and elect to retire, they look to do whatever it takes to keep their juices flowing, and remain tethered to the sport they played for so many years. They do that by betting on sports, which is now legal at the federal level. Sports betting is now completely acceptable, and is considered a hobby, up there with music, movies and cooking. It used to be concerned a bit degenerate, but that’s not the case anymore, as athletes have no problem being spotted in casinos or sportsbooks.

Here are a number of athletes that enjoy betting on sports, some of whom dominated the game they once played for a number of years.

Jun 17, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds former player Pete Rose (left) talks with Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo (61) before a game with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Pete Rose

MLB legend Pete Rose, also known as “Charlie Hustle,” loved betting on sports so much, that it actually spelled the end of his playing career. He was pretty great, too, still possessing records for hits (4,256), at-bats (14,053) and total games played (3,562). He also won three batting titles, was named MVP once and earned two Gold Gloves. 

But it all came to a screeching halt, due to his love for sports betting. 

Rose went on to manage the Reds, and that’s where his gambling habit really took over. Whispers of him betting on games swirled for years, until Sports Illustrated finally published a definitive report that outed him, stating that he wagered on 52 games in the 1987 season. The amount bet wasn’t small, either — ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 per game, which was a ton of money back then. 

It’s pretty brutal as well, given that Rose is a surefire Hall of Famer, but he was hit with a lifetime ban by MLB, and until that is lifted, he’ll never be eligible to be inducted.

Dec 7, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets team owner Michael Jordan yells at an official in the second half against the Denver Nuggets at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Jordan

He’s the greatest basketball player ever, and yet, his love for gambling, as well as playing golf and hoops, is huge. Dating back to when when he was the biggest star in the NBA, when he is a common name at high-stakes games around the globe, MJ and his gambling stories prove that he truly loves to bet.

Apart from betting directly, Jordan also has business stakes at the Ilani Casino Resort in Washington, where you will find one of Jordan’s Steakhouse restaurants. He also owns the Charlotte Hornets, so don’t expect him to be wagering on the NBA anymore.

Sep 13, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers great Charles Barkley receives a standing ovation during the unveiling of the statue honoring him in a ceremony at the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Barkley 

Maybe it was a generational thing, because Barkley and Jordan played during the same era, and they both loved putting their money down at casinos. He and Jordan squared off many times on the court, and they share the connection of remaining in the basketball world — one as an owner, the other as an analyst.

Barkley has made it clear over the years that he has an affinity for gambling, and once even admitted that he had an “addiction” to it. It doesn’t appear that he wagers big amounts of money like he did back then, as he once stated he was going to give it up for good, but he’s still hinted that he likes having some action from time to time, so don’t be surprised if you see him in a casino one night.

Sep 29, 2019; Harrison, NJ, USA; D.C. United forward Wayne Rooney (9) during warm up before game New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Wayne Rooney

It’s crazy when you think about how much money star striker Wayne Rooney once lost in a casino in Manchester. It came out that he once lost £65,000, although it’s unsure what he was playing — be it blackjack, baccarat, poker, slots, roulette or something else.

That amount of money would have put most of us out of business for good back in 2008, but he probably didn’t even feel it, given that he was earning roughly more than that in two weeks at the time. If you think that was too much then you should know that he gambled away £500,000 just a week or so ago and just as before, he probably didn’t feel too much regret, considering all of the money he’s made from Manchester United, Everton, DC United and wherever he plays next.

Dec 13, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; Jennifer Lopez (left) and Alex Rodriguez watch in the first half of a game between the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Rodriguez 

He’s not one of the more well-known bettors, but don’t let A-Rod fool you, just because he’s on TV as an MLB analyst. Just look at his past, and how he’s been involved in multiple controversies. Not only that, if there’s one thing that even his critics will agree on, it would be the fact that he loves to gamble.

Excluding his allegedly even more controversial betting habits, A-Rod was and possibly still is actively involved in playing high-stakes poker games, so if you have a local game you play in, ask around, as maybe he was there one day.

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