Las Vegas: a mecca for gamblers and those who like to party. The city is known for its bright lights and many ways to have a good time. People are drawn to Las Vegas for different events, from their own nuptials to special sporting events. In 2019, the destination that has gained the nickname Sin City saw almost 50 million visitors.
It’s also a place where people like to spend money. Whether on ringside seats at a big boxing match or seeing an awe-inspiring Cirque du Soleil show, everything costs money.
For big-name stars, where money isn’t an object, Vegas is a great place to let loose and have fun.
When people mention the Strip, they are talking about a 4.2 mile stretch of resorts, casinos, and attractions. This neon-soaked parade is where much of the action takes place in Vegas.
The main attraction of Las Vegas for many is its’ casinos. According to the World Casino Directory, Las Vegas has 161 casinos, many of which are found in huge hotel resorts.
The Strip itself has around 61 casinos, while Fremont Street, the older part of town, has around 24. Most visitors stay on or around these areas and don’t venture to more local casinos.
If there was any doubt about the reason people visit, 73% of tourists gamble when they come to Vegas. If you compare that with any other tourist city, it’s likely to win hands down.
The Worldwide Popularity of Gambling
Of course, gambling isn’t only confined to Nevada. Now people all over the world can get the Vegas experience, from home, or even on the bus to work.
There used to be many regulations around gambling, and certain states don’t have land-based casinos. However, online gambling is growing in popularity every year.
Online gambling has seen a huge growth in the US and especially in countries such as the UK and Ireland with more citizens playing casino games online as well as placing sports bets. The popularity of casino games has led to more new casino providers entering the online market in these regions as attitudes towards gambling relax. As competition in the online sphere grows fierce, new providers need to offer competitive bonuses to attract players to their sites.
Many tourists from many different countries travel to destinations like Vegas each year to enjoy the bright lights of the casino strip, including celebrities.
Which Big Names Like Playing in Vegas?
After a grueling film shoot or the end of filming a series, it’s natural to want some downtime. Alternatively, if celebrating a birthday or special occasion, Vegas is a fantastic place to throw a party.
This is why celebrities from the world of film, music, and sport descend on Las Vegas. Gambling is a big pastime among the rich and famous.
So, who might you spot on the tables of the Strip? Here are a few celebrities that may surprise you.
The actor who made a name playing Jesse in Breaking Bad has a serious love of poker. He flew out to Vegas for the opening of the SLS resort and was spotted at the Bellagio another time.
Paul likes to play with other celebrities such as Kellan Lutz and Emile Hirsch, but he’s clued up on the game. He competed in the 2015 World Series of Poker and debuted in the Global Poker League with a win.
U.S. Open, PGA Championship, and Masters golf legend Tiger Woods is a big fan of Blackjack. The MGM Grand in Las Vegas has given him a $1 million limit, something practically unheard of.
While Woods wins at Blackjack regularly, he also hosts charity poker events. He ran “Tiger’s Poker Night” at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, attracting other stars such as Mekhi Phifer.
Olympian swimmer Phelps doesn’t just like poker, he’s pretty good at it too. When he started playing online, he played for low stakes, and it probably taught him a few skills.
While his swimming events are over in minutes, he can spend hours at the poker table. He regularly flies to Vegas to compete in cash tournaments, which can go on for days.
Sports players obviously develop a certain level of stamina during their training, which they can use in other areas. The legendary basketball player Jordan would gamble until dawn, even if he had a game on the next day.
He’s been spotted in Vegas on numerous occasions, and while he plays Blackjack regularly, it seems he really favors craps. It’s probably the risk element with craps that appeals to Jordan’s mindset, as on-court he wasn’t used to losing much!
Batman and Argo actor Ben Affleck could probably give up acting and play poker or Blackjack full time. He genuinely is that good at cards, and it’s a habit he indulges in often.
Affleck is a known card counter, which has led to him being banned from some Las Vegas casinos. He is no longer welcome at the Hard Rock casino after beating the house there.
He’s generous though. He won $140,000 and gave it all away to workers at the casino, tipping waiters and the doormen.
A Fun Hobby
For celebrities who can bet big and lose without worrying about money, it’s obvious why Vegas provides so much fun. It would be nice to make $10,000 bets and not feel the pain of losing.
However, does it have the same thrill? Even with small bets in Vegas or online, mere mortals can win big, which is surely more exciting.
Film and sports stars will continue to flock to Vegas, as they are guaranteed a good time there.