Many professional sportsmen make astronomical sums for doing their favorite kinds of sport. However, top-class athletes remain ordinary humans after all, with their own weak points, no matter however much money and fame they enjoy. Notably, many world-class sport stars are not immune to trying their luck in gambling games. Below you’ll find information about popular athletes who love casino games and sport bets.
Michael Vick the football player
Unlike other characters from this article, Michael isn’t actually a gambler. Neither has he ever made any illegal sport bets. Instead, Michael Vick himself organized illegal dog fights. This is exactly why the promising quarterback of the “New York Jets” ended up behind the bars. He was convicted in 2007 and sentenced to a 2-year imprisonment. Apart from convicting Vick for organizing illegal fights, the prosecuting attorney made an attempt to subject the sportsmen to the responsibility for animal abuse, for cruelty to dogs which lead to their death in particular. However, this criminal charge was never proved.
Keith Robert Gillespie the footballer
Former “Manchester United” player and one of the most promising North Ireland footballers – Keith Gillespie – mentioned in his memoirs, that he spent everything he earned on the field during his long career at bookmaker’s offices.
Of course, the exact sum of the money lost is kept out the public eye, however, Keith’s fans calculated that it might approximately be equal to 7-8 million pounds.
Gillespie became obsessed with totalizers back in the days when he was a “Manchester United” player on the tip from his mentor and team mate from Alex Ferguson’s club. But the real disaster came when Keith moved to “New Castle”.
The sportsmen himself admits, that the universal Internet access and telephone bids (bets made by telephone without visiting bookmaker’s offices) make you spend money a lot faster than ever before. Gillespie personal best is 62 thousand pounds in 48 hours. This was the time when Keith lost his annual salary and what’s more ran into debts.
As for today, Keith is occupying a small apartment in a modest area of Bangor. When he talks to press, Gillespie reports that he managed to kick his addiction. But he also admits, that he sometimes makes bets – 20 pounds at most. It well may be that one day Gillespie will manage to recover his lost fortune providing that he’s on a roll.
Charles Barkley the basketballer
It seems that it’s almost a must for a professional basketballer to be obsessed with making bets. And not only Michael Jordan was spotted gambling. The reliable source reports that one day another American sportsman – Charles Barkley – lost more than $10 million on one of the totalizers.
As for Barkley himself, he puts his defeats down to his nature of high roller: he makes huge bets and therefore loses a lot. Every time Barkley faces a defeat, the world’s attention is gained by how much he has lost, but whenever he wins, it goes unnoticed. Charles says, that making bets is fun and adds that he will continue wasting money on totalizers. On the other hand, he admits that there’s another side of the question: you need to quit while one is ahead, you’ll never win the whole bank, while it’s very easy to blow your bankroll.
Kotomitsuki Keiji the sumo wrestler
Japanese are known to cherish their traditions, so only a person of high moral character can become a true wrestler. But former sumo athlete, Kotomitsuki Keiji, made a huge disappointment for his devoted fans. Once Keiji scored a respectable ?zeki title, he literally went rouge and plunged into the beloved hobby: he did baseball pools illegally. What’s more this organization was held by Japanese mafia – yakudza. In 2012, his secret was revealed and made a huge scandal. The saddest part is that not only Keiji, but at least 65 other sumo wrestlers (out of total 700 sumo sportsmen in Japan) were involved in this row. But it was Keiji, who suffered from this situation most: he had to quit his professional career and was deprived of all titles and high sports pension.
The legendary Czech hockey player is a very well-known figure not only to the hockey fans all over the world and ordinary Czechs, but also to bookmakers. The word about Jagr’s problem gambling leaked out after it tuned out that he owed $950 000 to offshore betting providers.
What’s noteworthy, the luck seemed to turn back on Jaromir: the sportsmen used to make bets equal up to $20 000 for a single match, according to Steven Budin – his personal bookmaker. Finally, when one of the Jagr’s bets won, the bookmaker’s office, which was extremely afraid that the Czech might stop making bets after a series of losses, decided to organize a real celebration to commemorate the victory.
Michael Vic – the infamous quarterback of NFL “New York Jets” – is sadly remembered for organizing illegal dog fights, whereas all previous characters from the article simply made “innocent” sport bets and threw their cash around. In 2007 Vic was arrested and sentenced to a 23-month imprisonment. He was also accused of cruel killings of the defeated dogs; however, this information was never proved.