Sports and gambling are two sectors that have been linked throughout the modern era. Both rely on the other to survive, which has led to a number of sports stars getting involved in marketing campaigns for some of the biggest sportsbooks. However, sports stars aren’t just there to help market the company, as some even have a reputation for gambling themselves. These are some of the biggest stars that have dabbled in betting throughout their lives.
Floyd Mayweather Jr
Floyd Mayweather is rightly regarded as one of the best boxers that has ever graced the ring, but his nickname of ‘Money’ doesn’t just stem from his esteemed reputation as a boxer. Throughout his life, he has shared images on social media of big bets that he has made, which includes wagers on the Super Bowl and boxing events.
These bets typically aren’t you small wagers either, with images showing Mayweather placing bets worth hundreds of thousands of dollars onto his selections. It would seem as though Mayweather has turned to betting to get the feeling of victory that he got on 50 occasions during his professional career. It’s unlikely that we will see Mayweather back in the ring again, with his last professional fight coming three years ago against Conor McGregor.
Lee Westwood is one of the most consistent players on the European and PGA Tour. Throughout his career, he has represented Team Europe in the Ryder Cup on ten occasions and also held the number one spot in the world rankings for 22 weeks.
He has won 25 European Tour events and two PGA Tour events throughout his career, but it was his knowledge of horse racing that captured the headlines over the past two years. Westwood won big at the Cheltenham Festival in 2018, before matching that feat again in the following year. Westwood picked up a massive £48,000 from a £240 Super Heinz bet during the Festival. On the bet, six of his seven predictions were winners, including 8/1 and 4/1 shots.
Charles Barkley enjoyed an NBA career that spun across 16 years. He made a name for himself with the Philadelphia 76ers, before going onto play for the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets before retiring in 2000. His performances on the court saw his named the Most Valuable Player in 1993, and he was an NBA All-Star on eleven occasions.
However, Barkley opened up with ESPN about the problems that he had with gambling. Barkley continues to gamble to this day and was in the headlines in 2007 after he won over $700,000. He won this huge amount from a combination of Super Bowl picks and high stakes Blackjack.
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By Alex Dudley