When you think of celebrity gamblers, you probably look at stars in America such as Tobey Maguire, Michael Jordan, or even Ray Romano. There are many Aussie sports stars and celebrities that love to gamble. Some do it casually, while others have played high stakes casino games.
Today, we will take a look at a few popular celebrity gamblers. Unfortunately, everything is not sunshine and rainbows when it comes to gambling as a couple of these players ended up incurring massive losses at the tables.
There is a dark side to casino gambling, and there may be no better example of gambling addiction than former real-estate tycoon Harry Kakavas. Kakavas earned his fortune buying and selling Gold Coast properties. The multi-millionaire would lose it all at the Crown Casino over a period of 14 months starting on June 2005.
Kakavas loved to gamble on baccarat and ended up wagering as much as $1.5 billion. He was known to play up to $300,000 per hand and ultimately lost over $30 million to the casino. The problem was that he didn’t have the $30 million and ended up defrauding friends and clients for money to fund his habit.
Kakavas later tried to sue Crown Melbourne, claiming that the casino knew he had a gambling problem and enticed him to play there through various means. The High Court ruled against Kakavas, ending one of the darkest chapters in Australian gambling.
When you think of the greatest TV personalities in Australian history, Bert Newton is certainly on the shortlist. With a career that spanned over six decades, Newton is a true legend of television in Australia.
Newton is known for Good Morning Australia, Bert’s Family Feud, 20 to 1, and many other programs through the years. One thing that he is lesser known for is a gambling problem. Back in the early 1990s, Newton struggled with gambling addiction and it nearly led to bankruptcy. He accrued debt of almost $1 million during that time.
Fortunately, Newton was able to overcome his problem gambling and moved on to enjoy a legendary media career.
Karl Stefanovic is best known as a popular co-host on Nine Network’s morning show Today, but the show discontinued his contract on the show at the end of 2018. He is now a regular contributor to 2GB, the most listened-to radio service in Sydney.
What some people may not know about the media personality is his love for pokies. Shortly after he was released from his contract with Today, he was spotted playing pokie machines at a pub in Mosman. Now that he has more free time in the mornings, he can pick up a new hobby. With his background, he would be a great mouthpiece for online gambling regulation in Australia.
Anyone that follows cricket knows Shane Warne. He is arguably one of the best bowlers in the history of cricket but is presently known more as a mentor and commentator. However, one thing that you may not know about Warne is his love for the game of poker.
Warne is an experienced poker player and once he showed prowess in the game, both live and online casinos started using him as a celebrity player. Crown Casino Melbourne signed Warne as an ambassador for Club 23 and had him host charity poker events.
In 2008, Warne signed with 888poker to become a sponsored player. He represented the company at the World Series of Poker, Aussie Millions, and the 888 UK Poker Open. Warne’s celebrity status helped to drive traffic to online casino games and poker games around the world.