Michael Jordan Gambling Legacy: More than Basketball Games

Michael Jordan Gambling Legacy: More than Basketball Games

Michael Jordan entered the corridors of fame and wealth for his extraordinary basketball skills. However, besides being one of the NBA’s greatest players of all time and a billionaire due to his entrepreneurial exploits, Jordan has storied controversial gambling events in history. Today’s casino news will run you through five Michael Jordan gambling engagements that made headlines worldwide. Without further ado, let’s dunk right in!

Michael Jordan Gambling Adventures: A High-Roller Lifestyle

Below are five Michael Jordan gambling ventures that shocked his fans. 

Betting a Mind-Boggling $300,000 on One Golf Hole

Besides his exploits on the basketball court, Michael Jordan had a thing for golf. And this wasn’t for the love of the sport, but how much money he could gain from placing bets. According to a businessman named Richard Esquinas, the legendary NBA player owed him a whopping $1.25 million after a terrible run on the golf course. 

Jordan, however, was able to take his debt down to $902,000 after winning some rounds, even though he was reluctant to pay back the rest. Nonetheless, he eventually did. But guess what? This wasn’t the only wagering deal he had on the golf course. 

Another Michael Jordan gambling practice that left many shocked was disclosed by his former close friend and basketball player, Charles Barkley. He revealed that Jordan would sometimes place bets worth $300,000 per hole. 

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Michael Jordan Gambling on Craps: A $5 Million Loss

Michael Jordan didn’t bet on golf exclusively. He also risked his funds on Roulette game variants and other casino tables. He was seen multiple times in casino lobbies hours before a big fixture. One day Jordan lost $5,000,000 (we just had to list out the zeroes) on a craps table. 

And interestingly, the craps table that Jordan lost was one such casino games variant that saw his friend winning $1,000,000. He was competitive on and off the basketball court, so there’s a chance he wanted to outdo his counterpart and experienced this loss. 

Rock, Paper, and Scissors!

Rock, paper, and scissors is a game played by individuals for fun or to win small prizes. But the basketball legend placed a bet worth $100,000 on one round despite the game’s winning percentage being capped at 33%. This Michael Jordan gambling news made headlines, and it was brought to light by his former teammate, Jay Williams.

The $57,000 Check

In February 1993, Michael Jordan was called upon to testify about the $57,000 check he’d written to a James “Slim” Boiler, entangled in a money and conspiracy scheme. Although Jordan initially claimed that these funds were a business loan, he later tweaked his story and said the check was for a golf gambling debt.

This incident prompted NBA investigations into Michael Jordan’s gambling history. However, the diggings didn’t focus on the possibility that he was into match-fixing. Michael was later cleared of any wrongdoing by the investigative board. Later, he announced his retirement from the game, prompting a series of controversial takes. The most notable being that Jordan had taken a step back from basketball due to his off-court betting activities.

When these allegations became high-pitched, Micheal Jordan stepped forward to clear the air. According to him, his retirement stemmed from needing enough time to mourn his father’s death. Jordan took an 18-month sabbatical from basketball, trying his hands on baseball during this timeline.

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$44 Million Sportradar Investment

Another Michael Jordan gambling-related news item that gained instant attention was his Sportradar investment, where he and Mark Cuban invested $44 million in the company, establishing a link between sports, media, and betting. 

Sports and Gambling

While most of the Michael Jordan gambling activities we’ve highlighted ended poorly, there were cases in which he made good bets (e.g., investing in a big data company). Though many think that he had a gambling addiction, we believe that Jordan was another celebrity who gambled for fun since he could afford it. 

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