added: 6 Jan 2014 // by: Music-News.com Newsdesk
Anyone who has ever walked into a casino knows it can be an intoxicating experience. Free or discounted food and drinks, the sounds of slot machines ringing and the sight of people celebrating after winning can make you want to push your bank account to the limit.
Now imagine that scenario with one difference -- your bank account is big enough to absorb some serious gambling losses. That's the situation in which many famous celebrity gamblers find themselves. While losing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars might sound reckless to most of us, those losses may represent nothing more than pocket change to a serious celebrity gambler. It's no wonder music associated with gambling is such a hit!
Let's take a look at five unexpected celebrity musician gamblers.
1. Frank Sinatra
When talking about celebrity gamblers, they don't get much bigger than "Ol' Blue Eyes." Sinatra and his "Rat Pack" buddies Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. personified a certain kind of Las Vegas casino cool. Sinatra even owned his own Lake Tahoe casino, the Cal Neva, which was packed with 1960s-era celebrities and had a helicopter pad on the roof. Sinatra lost his gambling license when a Chicago mobster was spotted on the premises, but he remained a gambler and Las Vegas fixture for decades.
2. Justin Timberlake
Musician turned top Hollywood actor Justin Timberlake knows his way around a casino. In October, Timberlake told the press he was going to cut down on his gambling after experiencing a few losses. But while Timberlake might avoid the casino for a while in daily life, he'll still be able to gamble on the big screen - he can be seen starring in "Runner, Runner," an upcoming Ben Affleck film about offshore online gambling.
3. Gladys Knight
This queen of American soul and R&B music doesn't gamble these days, but in her prime, she was a big time baccarat player. So big, in fact, she had to quit the game entirely after her gambling became compulsive. Knight got her start at the gambling tables while performing in a casino. After playing countless shows in places like Las Vegas and Reno, Knight's gambling spiraled out of control. After she began losing tens of thousands of dollars a night, she called Gamblers Anonymous for help, and was able to curtail her addiction.
Rapper Cornell Haynes Jr., better known to music fans as Nelly, is about as big as they come in the world of hip hop. He's played shows across the world and has sold millions of records. He's also spent a lot of time in the casino. So much time in fact, that his former manager accused him of blowing a large part of his fortune during a heated Twitter exchange between the two in 2011. The St. Louis-born rapper publicly denied the charge
When it comes to gambling musicians, they don't get any more audacious than Birdman. The New Orleans-based rapper and music label owner claimed to have bet $5 million on an NFL game. That might sound crazy, but the hip hop luminary can afford such an extravagance -- he had his net worth recently pegged at $100 million by Forbes magazine. Birdman has also claimed to have bet millions on NBA games and boxing matches.