Gambling has been a popular pastime for many throughout history, and it’s an activity enjoyed by countless people of different ages. In recent times, online gambling has dominated the gambling sector, with so many new online slots providing people all over the world with the opportunity to gamble from the comfort of their own homes.
But throughout the 20th century, gambling was still a popular activity for people who frequented casinos and played some of the card games and slot machines that we still love and enjoy today. In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the world’s most famous musicians and see how they enjoyed gambling in their free time away from the mic.
Few would dispute that Ol’ Blue Eyes had one of the most magnificent singing voices of all time. Even before Las Vegas became the gambling mecca that it is today, Frank Sinatra was a regular performer at Vegas’s casinos and loved a flutter on some of the most popular casino games of the time. Sinatra’s legendary performances in Vegas helped put it on the map, and although incredibly popular and well-loved across the US, he had a bit of a shady side.
Connections to the mob dogged his career, and Sinatra undoubtedly knew some shady figures. He was pictured with his arm wrapped around notorious crime boss Carlo Gambino at the Westchester Premier Theatre in New York. That being said, most remember Sinatra for his time playing the casinos of Vegas, and those that knew him often commented on his love for the tables.
Soul legend Gladys Knight is known to have been a keen gambler in the past. The seven-time Grammy award-winning legend revealed in her autobiography her love of sports betting and gambling, with her favourite games being baccarat and blackjack. Knight would often frequent the casinos of Atlantic City and Las Vegas and play throughout the night. However, Knight’s love of gambling nearly cost her everything, and she reveals she was addicted to gambling for ten years of her life, spending $40,000 at the tables in just one night. Fortunately for Gladys, she seems to have overcome her addiction and is back enjoying life once again.
New York City-born and bred; P Diddy isn’t just famous for his music. He’s developed quite the reputation for himself as a talented and accomplished gambler, with a penchant for blackjack in particular. In 2002, he was asked to play the opening concert of Harrah’s in Atlantic City. After his performance on the night, he became the first person to lay a bet on their new luxurious blackjack tables. Ever since his performance at Harrah’s, P Diddy has a kind of ambassador for blackjack. He can regularly be spotted at casinos across the US, making appearances at blackjack tables. It’s even said that while on tour, P Diddy even requests access to blackjack tables so he can set up and gamble with his friends backstage before going out to perform.
The motorhead bassist was a huge fan of the slot machines. Lemmy even wrote the band’s most popular hit, ‘Ace of Spades’ which many associate with his love of gambling. An autobiographical movie of Lemmy’s life shows him spending a lot of time in a specific club in London, where he was well known by all staff members and spent a long time playing on the one-armed bandits. Bandmates recall that Lemmy could often be found after a gig sitting in front of a slot machine sipping a Jack and Coke. A Rockstar to the core, Lemmy loved a gamble as much as he loved a drink!
Rhythm guitarist and vocalist of the trash metal band Anthrax, Scott Ian loves to gamble. However, unlike Lemmy, he loves spending his time at the poker table and even spent some time pursuing a professional career as a poker player. Although regularly spotted at casino tables across the US when time permits, Scott now plays a lot online, so he doesn’t have to worry about juggling his music and gambling interests. He started playing poker at a young age and is widely respected as a good player. It seems that he’s been able to balance two of his life’s greatest passions, something that many of us could certainly take some inspiration from!