There are a number of celebrities and sports stars from across the globe who like to relax at a casino and play a little poker or blackjack for fun, every now and then. Then you have another section of celebrities and sports professionals who are competitive and are regular visitors to casinos.
Actor Ben Affleck has been put into this category as he is consistent in visiting casinos and playing the various games on offer, especially blackjack.
Molly Bloom, the “poker princess” who was arrested earlier this year had stated that Ben Affleck was a regular participant at the high stake illegal games that she conducted. Bloom stated that Ben Affleck along with Matt Damon, Tobey Maguire, Macaulay Culkin and Leonardo DiCaprio were regular visitors to these illegal tournaments. Last Year Ben Affleck stared alongside Justin Timberlake and Gemma Arterton in the poker movie ‘Runner Runner’.
Affleck was also accused this year of card counting during a blackjack game at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. Affleck was immediately asked to leave the casino and banned for life from playing blackjack at the Hard Rock. Affleck who is currently promoting his new movie admitted that he had indeed counted cards for fun but denied rumors that he is a degenerate gambler and has issues to deal with.
Card counting is considered illegal by casinos as it gives players an unfair advantage over their competitors and helps them increase their winnings. Other casinos have followed suit and have blacklisted Ben Affleck from playing blackjack at their establishments.
Ben Affleck is currently worth around $75 million and does not appear to be in need of any extra money earned through card counting. Affleck said he learned card counting just for the fun of it and wanted to see if he was any good with it. Affleck tried his card counting strategy more for the adrenalin rush and to see if it really worked. Affleck has denied reports about being thrown out of the Hard Rock Casino stating that he was only asked to refrain from playing Blackjack.
In a statement, Ben Affleck said
I will say this. There were a number of casinos that said, ‘Hey, you can’t play blackjack here. We know you count cards. But, you know, you’re welcome to come, do whatever you want, see a show, have dinner. We’ll comp ya. Play roulette, we know you don’t play craps, but hang out, we still want your presence and business.’