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Rolling the Dice: Famous Musicians Who Took Their Love of Gambling to the Extreme

(Original Caption) 10/8/1987-Atlantic City, NJ - Sammy Davis Jr., Jerry Lewis, and Frank Sinatra get together for a performance as they help kickoff opening ceremonies for the renaming of the Golden Nugget Hotel to Bally's Grand Hotel. The three sang several numbers and helped flip a huge switch to light on the new name plate atop the hotel.

The world of music is full of iconic performers who have left their mark on the industry. But what many people don’t know is that some of these legends also enjoyed gambling. From Frank Sinatra to Ray Charles, the allure of the casino has drawn many famous musicians over the years.

Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra, also known as “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” was a legendary American singer and actor. He was born in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1915, and went on to become one of the most iconic performers of the 20th century. Sinatra was also known for his love of gambling, particularly when it came to craps and poker. He was often seen at casinos in Las Vegas, and was even a part-owner of the Cal-Neva Lodge & Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. As per the information provided by, Sinatra used to frequent the high roller section of the casino and reportedly won a whopping sum of $1 million in a single night at the Sands casino.

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley, also known as the “King of Rock and Roll,” was an American singer and actor. He was born in Tupelo, Mississippi in 1935, and went on to become one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Elvis was also known for his love of gambling, and was a regular at the Las Vegas Hilton, where he would spend hours playing slot machines. He was also known for his generosity, often tipping casino employees and fellow gamblers large sums of money.

Gladys Knight

NORFOLK, VA – AUGUST 17: Gladys Knight performs live at Chrysler Hall on August 17, 2019 in Norfolk, Virginia. (Photo by David A. Beloff/Getty Images)

Gladys Knight, also known as the “Empress of Soul,” is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1944, and has been a regular at casinos in Las Vegas for many years. She has even won big on occasion, taking home $60,000 in 2018 while playing blackjack at the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City.

Lemmy Kilmister

Lemmy Kilmister was the late frontman of the heavy metal band Motörhead. He was born in Stoke-on-Trent, England in 1945, and went on to become one of the most influential musicians in the metal genre. Kilmister was also an avid gambler, enjoying playing slot machines while on tour. He was often found at the casino during his downtime, and was known to participate in many high-stakes poker games.

Ray Charles

Ray Charles was a legendary American singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. He was born in Albany, Georgia in 1930, and went on to become one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Charles was also a fan of gambling, particularly blackjack. He was often seen playing late into the night at casinos in Las Vegas. Charles was particularly skilled at the game, and his love of gambling was said to have contributed to his financial struggles later in life.


While gambling can be a fun and exciting pastime, it is important to remember that it can also be addictive and can have serious financial consequences if not approached with caution. Safe gambling practices are essential to ensure that you can enjoy the activity without harming yourself or others.

First and foremost, it is important to set limits on how much time and money you are willing to spend on gambling. This can help prevent overspending and ensure that you are not neglecting other important responsibilities or activities. It is also important to avoid chasing losses and to never gamble with money that you cannot afford to lose.

In addition, it is important to take breaks from gambling and to seek help if you feel that your gambling is becoming problematic. Many casinos and online gambling sites offer resources for those struggling with addiction, and there are also a number of support groups and organizations available to provide assistance.

By practicing safe gambling habits and approaching the activity with a responsible mindset, you can enjoy the fun and excitement of gambling without putting yourself or others at risk.