Yes, I like to get my feet wet with a bit of gambling sometimes. Lots of people do it and many simply enjoy the entertainment value that gambling brings. It goes the same for celebrities. Although most of them start off with a bankroll that most of us pleasure-players could perhaps never be able to afford, others still like to engage in serious wagering, even winning some sweet prizes along the way.
Of course that a winning celebrity will make world-wide headlines, but a scandal involving both celebrities and gambling is just too juicy to pass up.
First on my list is famous swimmer Michael Phelps who managed to get suspended from swimming for 6 months after a night at the casino. A highly accomplished Olympic swimmer, Phelps reportedly spent quite a big wad of money at a Baltimore casino, lost it all while managing to get real good and drunk, after which he got behind the wheel of his car and received his second DUI in recent years.
A World Series of Poker caliber player, Phelps also cashed in pretty nice sums from smaller Poker Tournaments. Now his swimming future looks a bit shaky what with him trying to qualify for the 2016 Olympic games.
One of the most famous actors disreputably known for his bad gambling habits, Ben Affleck, made the headlines once more in 2014, being accused of card-counting at the Blackjack table. In consequence Affleck was banned from the Blackjack table. Apparently he wasn’t really doing a good job at concealing his strategy and this is what in fact got him caught. Otherwise, he proved a worthy card-counter.
Another big case splashed all over news networks was the scandal involving Phil Ivey, big pro poker star, and a casino in London. Using a Baccarat strategy called “edge sorting” Ivey took the casino for more than $12.4 million. Of course the casino was not too happy about it. The two parties ended up entangled in a big lawsuit in which the casino was asking for the winnings back. The casino won but Ivey fans were quick to relate their displeasure at the seeming unfairness played on Ivey.
A second lawsuit is pending with a casino suing Ivey for using the same strategy while winning $9.6 million at the felt table. The Atlantic City casino claims that the poker pro used winning methods that are not in line with state regulations and are asking for the whole amount be restituted to them. The battle has no yet been settled but at least there are no DUI’s or card counting techniques involved, although the edge sorting scheme does currently lie in a gray area.
You can let us know your opinion in the comments below. Do you think lvey is right? Should the casinos be refunded? What about Ben Affleck’s card-counting strategy, is it ethical? I’m pretty sure I can guess what you think about Phelps’ actions, but it’s always great to hear the opinion of the public at large.