The World Casino Index biography section features information and backgrounds on the most influential people in the world of gaming. From online casinos to brick and mortar moguls, our bios cover the biggest names in the industry. You may recognize many of these names from their namesakes that are featured on casinos around the world, including, but not limited to: Harrah’s, Wynn, Bob Stupak and more. There have been many different people from all walks of life that have helped to form the gaming landscape as it is today. Believe it or not, people like Frank Sinatra, members of the mob, and many others have been integral to the development of casinos in the United States.
Beyond gaming in the US, there are many important players overseas. As gambling has grown and become more regulated, so too has the number of casinos, and in turn, the number of different players in the industry. Without the important names found in this biography section, places like Macau may never have become what they are today.
Here’s a short list of famous gamblers. It’s far from a complete list and few people have heard of everyone on the list. But I bet you’ve heard of some of them. We’ve included a short note about some of them.
As more gambler profiles are added you can find them on this page. It would be easy to develop 1,000 or more profiles over time, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get that many done.
The gambling world is filled with colorful characters, some of the nicest men and women you’ll ever meet, and some of the worst crooks you can find. If you think about it this is much like any area of life, but there seems to be a mystery or draw that makes gamblers interesting.
Maybe it’s the illusion that gambling for a living would be a great way to enjoy life. From the outside, it sure looks like fun.
The truth is that very few professional gamblers have it easy. It takes as much or more work than most people do at their jobs to be a winning sports bettor, poker player, or advantage player.
What does a gambler have to do to become well known?
It’s fairly easy for poker players. All they have to do is win the World Series of Poker main event or a WPT event. Or even a series of tournaments that aren’t the Main Event. But what does a sports gambler have to do to gain fame? What about slots, video poker, or blackjack players? Getting elected into the Blackjack Hall of Fame should help, but most people don’t recognize most of the players who have been elected.
Probably the fastest way for a gambler to gain fame is by being arrested for cheating or something else.
Biographies from WCI focus on everything from big breaks in a career to where that individual stands today and what projects they remain involved with. One thing is for sure, getting into the casino industry is as tough as ever. Many of these important casino owners are poised to remain in control of the greater gambling landscape for decades to come.
Some figures in gambling are more known for their individual feats rather than their contributions or additions to gambling as a whole. Poker players like Phil Ivey have morphed into nothing less than celebrity status. Many poker players have parlayed their TV and mainstream media exposure into ad deals and partnerships that help to spread and grow gambling’s popularity. Take a look at some beer cans or beef jerky and you may be surprised to see Phil Hellmuth, a well-known poker player, featured on the packaging.
Other names in the world of gambling are best known for their larger than life auras. A particularly strong example of this type of gambler is found in Archie Karas. Known for running up a small stake into tens of millions before losing it all back, he is the sort of thing that gambling legends are made of. Then you have professional card counters who were primary reasons in the changes for how casinos treat “advantage players” today. Even still, you have true professionals like Stu Ungar who beat the best but fell victim to their demons