Ever wondered what it takes to get banned from a casino? Derren Brown’s reputation for practising tricks and illusions is one way to get the security’s attention. Having a celebrity’s million-dollar paycheck and huge appetite for gambling is another. That’s Paris Hilton’s problem. It does’t help being underage and part of a world-famous boyband either. Poor Harry Styles from One Direction (pictured left); although, apparently he has a gambling problem! Here are 5 celebrities that got themselves booted from casinos.
1. Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck was banned for life from Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, for apparently counting cards. Card counting involves keeping a mental count of cards that have been dealt and using probability to predict the next hand. It is not technically illegal, but it makes casinos very uncomfortable and can get a player barred. It gets juicier, a source close to Affleck at that time heard the security guards telling Affleck, “you are too good.”
In fact, he is very good indeed. In 2004, Affleck won the California State Poker Championship and its $365,000 prize. According to the NY Post, Ben Affleck once raked in a total of nearly $1 million in two trips to the casino. He won $140,000 in a single sitting of Blackjack and gave away every one of those chips to casino staffers, tipping the door boys as much as $5,000. In 2001, Affleck won $800,000 while playing three simultaneous hands at $20,000 a pop.
This Hollywood high roller is into Poker as well. He hosts regular high-stakes Hollywood poker games in a posh cigar bar in Beverly Hills. “Ben’s Game” drew fellow A-listers such as Matt Damon, Leonardo Dicaprio and Tobey Maguire. Once, he lost $400,000 to movie mogul, Ron Meyer. Considering his net worth of $75 million, it’s safe to assume Affleck is in it for the adrenaline than for the money.
2. Derren Brown
Derren Brown is a magician and illusionist; any casino manager would be uneasy with this guy around. One Saturday night, Derren was playing blackjack at Broadway Plaza Birmingham. Within minutes of seating, security told Brown that he could only “watch his friends play”. Brown watched a couple more hands before the casino managers got even more uneasy. He was then escorted out of the casino.
Derren commented, “Over the years I’ve has been banned from playing at most of the UK’s casinos, so I wasn’t unduly surprised.” You would do the same if you watched Brown’s show. He has an entire episode titled “How To Beat The Casino” – during which he placed a £175,000 bet on a roulette wheel. He used his super-charged brain to assess the velocity of the wheel and the deceleration of the ball; to figure out where the ball was going to land. Well, he lost the money but many speculate that the losing bit was staged too. Watch snippets of this casino-related episode on Youtube here.
3. One Direction
In 2012, the boys had plans to go wild in Vegas by boozing and gambling into the early hours. Unfortunately, every casino in town knew who they were and threw them out. The legal drinking and gambling age in the US is 21; back then, the boys were aged 18 to 20 years old. Of course, their manager quickly consoled the boys with a swanky £16,000-a-night two-floor suite – complete with a hot tub, pool table and a basketball court.
Harry Styles didn’t learn his lesson though. A year later, Harry was spotted gambling while on tour in Perth, Australia and allegedly blew a serious amount of cash. The paps and fans call it a “gambling problem” – he once tweeted to Niall, his band mate, “Happy Birthday @NiallOfficial … Behave yourself. All on red.” Harry also has a tattoo that reads “17black”, which is a lucky gambling number used by James Bond.
4. Paris Hilton
She’s been on the news for all sorts of shameful celebrity behaviour, but none quite as embarassing as this one. The heiress is banned from one of her own hotels – Las Vegas Hilton! Worse yet, it was her parents that enforced the ban. Her dad then ordered her to seek help for her gambling problem. Ouch.
This harsh punishment came after many reckless bets. Paris had once bet (and lost) her £175,000 Bentley during a high-stakes game of Poker. She has also been evicted from multiple other casinos. Oh, the tribulations of the rich and famous…
5. Lil Wayne
This rap star got himself banned from Wynn Casino in Las Vegas. The casino management didn’t disclose why they enforced the lifetime exclusion and noted that they “don’t want any trouble” from the rapper. We reckon it’s probably booze-related – Wayne had once received a probation in Arizona that prevents him from drinking in the state.