As far back as the 15th and 16th centuries, numerous forms of gaming and gambling were revered by kings and queens and noblemen and women – the celebrities of their day. As this Planet 7 Casino article points out, many heads of state knew how to gamble. Already among the richest and most powerful people in the world, monarchs such as England’s Henry VIII and France’s Marie Antoinette turned to gaming as a form of relaxation, perhaps in an attempt to flaunt their wealth, and to chase thrills outside of the court – and away from politics. While their subjects often suffered in poverty, many heads of state just couldn’t help themselves when it came to pastimes such as cards, dice, and early forms of table games, and that reverence for these games has never quite gone away. Indeed, many contemporary celebrities are similarly drawn towards the casino and gaming industries, though in a thoroughly modern format, and without the fate of a country’s wealth on their shoulders.
The gaming industry and its celebrity endorsers
While they may seem worlds apart, video gaming is a descendent of the strategy games and bouts of cards, dice, and board games that the nobles of yesterday enjoyed so much – a pastime born out of a demand for entertainment and increasingly sophisticated technology. The video gaming industry is a burgeoning one, which has propelled its makers and studios to similar levels of grandeur as the celebrities who play them, and provide glittering endorsements in return. There are a plethora of celebrities using video games as a form of escapism, including Bill Gates, Megan Fox, Justin Bieber – and Michael Fassbender, who played a video game character in one of his most recent movies. Vin Diesel loves gaming so much that he founded a games studio, Tigon Studios. What could be simpler to access and play between takes, before shows, and while on the road? Gaming is a huge part of modern popular culture, and so it’s little wonder that so many celebrities admit to playing in their spare time. This attention, in return, has made the industry what it is today – a mutually beneficial relationship for all concerned.
And it doesn’t stop there…
It’s not just video games that celebrities are hooked on; the lure of the casino and basement poker table are equally as attractive to celebrities, and in turn those who follow their every move in an effort to experience the same thrills. While people have been enjoying casinos and games such as poker, blackjack, slots, and roulette for many decades, the glitz and glamor associated with the world of celebrity has done a lot for the industry’s image, while the rise of online casinos has made this one hobby that many people are able to keep up with, regardless of their circumstances.
It comes as no surprise that Las Vegas is known as a favorite celebrity haunt, its neon streets and darkened casino floors perfect for those who want to slip beneath the radar. Indeed, Hollywood legends such as George Clooney, Matt Damon, Charlie Sheen, and Ben Affleck are as renowned for their gambling activities as they are their work, while current President Donald Trump began his empire in Sin City. Celebrities are perhaps drawn to the thrill of gambling as one of the only pastimes that’s able to match the high stakes and adrenalin rush that they experience at work; this is one opportunity for the stars to relax, unwind, and show what their nerves are made of. Of course, the casino isn’t the only way for celebrities to unwind. Barack Obama was known as quite the player – a true “stone face” – among his poker buddies prior to his political career.
The pastimes of gaming and gambling are easily accessible by all, so it’s little wonder that celebrities have turned to consoles, the poker table, and online games in an effort to up the stakes, unwind, and entertain themselves between functions; gaming is perhaps the most varied of hobbies, and can be enjoyed in numerous ways. While gaming and gambling are certainly entertaining in their own right, their endorsement by a myriad of celebrities has done wonders to improve their profile and popularity.