Rocker Downtime: Playing the Odds & Losing

  • By Josh
  • August 11, 2016
  • Comments Off on Rocker Downtime: Playing the Odds & Losing

Musicians are often associated with addictions to alcohol or drugs. The music industry has its issues with substance addiction, but the public is not aware that gambling is also a major concern. While gambling has a lesser effect on user’s health compared to drugs, the financial repercussion causes significant issues. Musicians are faced with significant amount of stress. They work long hours under uncomfortable conditions to perform flawlessly for each show. To destress rocker downtime is sometimes spent playing cards with the crew. Most of them started with innocent card games like poker or blackjack. The rush they get from winning is so pleasurable that they need to gamble often to experience it. Until such time, gambling developed into addictive behaviour. Musicians with gambling problems did not notice they are spending extraordinary amount of time and money gambling.

Gambling is easier today than ever before with the use of digital technology. Online gambling through mobile phone allows musicians to gamble regardless of where they are. Bookmaker free bets trap unsuspecting musicians into gambling habits. Playing poker in casino is also a big problem among musos. The amount of money these musicians spent playing the odds and losing could have left them poor if they don’t earn enough money to support their vices. Gambling is still a great concern for musicians today. Repeated losses cause anxiety that lead to depression and substance abuse. Here’s our list of musicians with gambling problems:

Gladys Knight
The Empress of Soul revealed her gambling problem in her book Between Each Line of Pain and Glory: My Life Story. She chronicled in the book her struggles on gambling addiction with baccarat that lasted 10 years. A high-stake binge cost her no less than $45,000 in one night. She turned to Gamblers Anonymous to get help and put an end to her gambling addiction.

Rapper Shawn Carter also known as Jay-Z describes himself as a formidable blackjack and poker opponent. This high roller rapper has a huge appetite for gambling. In 2008, it was reported that he lost $500,000 during a high stakes poker game in Las Vegas.

Lemmy or Ian Fraser Kilmister in real life is the Motorhead’s bassist who wrote the Ace of Spaces. Lemmy is a gambling addict; he loves to spend the evening playing the slots. In the documentary Lemme: The Movie, the singer can be seen parked at a slot machine. He’d sit in front of the one-armed bandit all day pulling the lever. He’d just play and play with a Jack and Coke in one hand and the lever of the one-armed bandit in the other.

Rene Angelil
Former singer and Canadian manager who later married Celine Dion is a professional poker player. He is qualified to play at the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions. It was a joke that Angelil is always gambling away their money his wife Celine needs to turn out concerts with a residency. At one time Caesars Palace disclosed the casino losses of Angelil. In 2005 and 2006 he lost $230,000 but it was offset by his tournament poker winnings amounting to $259,079.

American rapper Cornell Iral Haynes Jr. made the headlines in 2011 with an alleged bankruptcy due to gambling addiction. His manager Slim claimed that the rapper blew all his money on various casinos playing poker. Nelly travelled the poker circuit; he is frequently seen in a number of World Series of Poker events. There was also a time when he went to Monte Carlo to play in a major live event of poker.

Scott Ian
Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian started playing amateur poker game while touring the US in his bus. Today, he is a celebrity poker musician who won VH1’s charity poker tournament. He also secured a seat in the Aruba Poker Classic.

50 Cent
Rapper, singer-songwriter Curtis James Jackson III also known as 50cent is openly seen playing poker in different casinos. His love for gambling is not limited to casinos, he loved sports betting too. In 2012, the rapper wins $500,000 after wagering on sports betting. His love for gambling is also evident on his songs. He used a betting-based metaphorical verse in his track titled “What you got” where he said “I got a gambling problem. I bet you n*** I’m gonna be back bustin…”

Playing the odds and losing will not be a problem if these musicians have Bono’s discipline. U2’s vocalist is one of the world’s wealthiest rock stars who enjoy taking his chances at blackjack and roulette. Bono play the odds but remains thrifty in his gambling activities. He normally plays blackjack with his band members in casinos cheapest table. He only gives a $125 limit to himself and his band members. He always picks up the tab for his party as long as everyone limits their bets to a total of $125 each.

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