Casino games were historically a pastime of the rich. The highest echelons of society were involved in high-stakes card games, and both Marie Antoinette and Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, were known to have created their own private salons and gaming rooms. The first casino, established in Venice, was allegedly open to everyone. However, the dress code (including Venetian mask and three-cornered hat) excluded the vast majority of society.
You only have to look at the design of the famous Monaco casino in Monte Carlo to know that table games are about glamour, overt wealth, and display. The casinos that sprung up in Las Vegas had a hedonistic charm, and the place is nicknamed Sin City. Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack will always be associated with Vegas.
Many of the casinos we find online today pay homage to these bricks and mortar casinos. Some of the most popular games are based in legendary casinos and offer the best casino bonuses. At the sites listed on online-slot.co.uk, you can find Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen. The game takes you to Las Vegas and is set in Caesars Palace. It is the official game of the TV series, and Ramsay has an empire of eateries around the world.
The glamorous side of casino gambling and the lure of Las Vegas has been the subject of many Hollywood blockbusters, including Ocean’s Eleven, 21, and Molly’s Game, to name but a few. Baz Luhrmaan’s Great Gatsby with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire has an exuberant and decadent club and casino entered through a secret door in a barber’s shop.
However, some of these screen stars are not just acting; they are part of a crowd actively participating in casino games and poker circles.
1. George Clooney
Ocean’s Eleven star Geoge Clooney has been playing poker since he was a teenager. He was one of the key figures in the high-stakes poker game featured in Molly’s Game.
Clooney even tried to establish his own casino called Las Ramblas. However, the plans for that fell through, and he lost millions – not at the tables but in the development. It seems that the gamble did not pay off.
2. Tobey Maguire
Star of The Great Gatsby and Spiderman, Maguire has also been a keen poker player for years. Like Clooney, he started playing in his teens and, like Clooney, has taken part in many of Hollywood’s elite private games. He is rumored to have lost a considerable sum to Ben Affleck in 2004, but he still enjoys playing.
The lead character in the 2017 movie Molly’s Game (in which a young female poker entrepreneur finds herself in hot water with the FBI) is believed to be based on Maguire.
3. Ben Affleck
Amongst the A-list poker players in Hollywood, Ben Affleck is rumored to be one of the best (particularly if you have heard the Maguire story). However, you do not need to listen to rumors to know he is good. In 2004 Affleck took the title at The Californian State Poker Championships and pocketed US$ 356,000.
However, he is not always popular at the casinos and has been banned from a handful of establishments and accused of counting cards at the blackjack tables.
4. Matt Damon
Affleck’s close friend Matt Damon has not only collaborated with him in film projects, but the pair also share a passion for gambling. Damon visits casinos and plays poker as a leisure activity, but it has been a critical part of his professional activity too.
In 1998 he starred in the movie Rounders in which two friends (Damon and Edward Norton) need to win a high-stakes poker game to pay off a large debt. He played the part of an expert gambler and was trained by the poker player Johnny Cahn to make him authentic in the role. It seems the training became useful in real life as he continued to use the skills he acquired.
5. Edward Norton
Damon’s co-star Edward Norton developed his poker skills at the same time, and he went on to earn a name for himself in the celebrity poker world.
A poker game against Norton was once auctioned off for US$130,000 for a charity fundraiser. The auctioneer was none other than Leonardo DiCaprio.
6. Pamela Anderson
Actor Pamela Anderson has not starred in a gambling film and does not appear to have been taught the tricks of the trade. That has not stopped her from enjoying poker, and she claims to be a fan of the game. Unlike some of her contemporaries, she does not play professionally, and it has been reported that she lost US$250,000 in one night.
It is not only actors who enjoy the thrill of gambling; plenty of musicians and sports stars are known to enjoy a flutter too.
Drake reported on Instagram that he had backed Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc to win the Spanish Grand Prix. He posted that he had bet CAS$300,000 on the cryptocurrency betting platform Stake.
The bet did not pay off, and he lost over $230,000 on the gamble as Leclerc suffered engine failure after Drake had made the wager. Max Verstappen won the race in Barcelona and took the lead in the championships from Leclerc.
8. Floyd Merryweather Jnr
World champion boxer Floyd Merryweather Jnr would rather bet on himself and has bagged himself over US$ 1 billion for his efforts. He is famous for making outrageous sports bets and is known to favor wagers of the high-stakes variety.
9. 50 Cent
The rapper 50 Cent also bet on Floyd Merryweather Jr. He was so confident that he put US$ 2 million on him to win his fight against Manny Pacquiao. Merryweather did not let him down, and 50 Cent cashed in. He also enjoys a game of poker and blackjack.
10. Paris Hilton
The heiress, model, and socialite Paris Hilton is often seen in Las Vegas and loves to play casino games there. She reportedly bagged US$30,000 on one trip.
However, she does not restrict her playing time to her visits and is reported to enjoy playing online casino games on mobile and apps.