Which celebrities are banned from casinos?
From bad behavior and outrageous demands to card counting, there are a number of reasons why you might be banned from a casino.
Even though they lead pampered, privileged lives, many of the same rules apply to celebrities – some of whom, perhaps, wrongly believe that they can do what they want on the gaming floor.
Here’s a collection of famous faces who have been banned from casinos around the globe.
Although bumped down the showbiz ladder a few rungs these days, in the noughties Paris Hilton was almost ubiquitous for doing, well, nobody really knows exactly what she brings to the table.
Written off as just another reality TV star, Hilton is actually pretty savvy and a noted blackjack player – she once won $50,000 in a session in Atlantic City. However, it’s rumored that she once lost her Bentley after using it as collateral in a high-stakes poker game.
In 2010, she was banned from those casinos bearing the Wynn and Encore branding. This came after she was caught with cocaine in her bag – she later pleaded guilty to this, and to obstructing an officer of the law. She has since apparently been allowed back in though.
While many of the celebrities on this list feature due to their ‘bad behavior’, Ben Affleck was given the boot for a rather different reason.
The actor and director taught himself to count cards, and he was rarely shy of putting his technique into practice at casinos across America during breaks in filming.
Which celebrity is banned from playing blackjack at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino? Well, that would be Affleck after pit bosses grew rather tired of his advantage play that saw him walk away with a number of big wins.
Although card counting isn’t illegal, it is frowned upon – the house wants to protect its edge, after all. So, while Affleck wasn’t completely barred from the Hard Rock, he has confirmed that bosses there have asked him not to play blackjack with them. “I wish I could say [the Hard Rock security members] were afraid of me in every capacity, but they only said, ‘No blackjack,’” he told Vanity Fair.
He has since turned his attentions to poker, and it’s a move that has proven successful – the former Batman actor once triumphed in the California State Poker Championship and won more than $350,000.
It’s thought that Affleck cut his teeth in high-stakes poker games on Molly Bloom’s underground circuit, where he and fellow celebrities would wager millions and make all manner of brags and claims.
UFC chief Dana White has not officially been outed as a card counter, but his consistently high wins at the blackjack table are indicative of a man using plenty of skill in his play.
It has been suggested that he has won as much as $7m in a single day, with casino firms such as Wynn and The Mirage quick to ban him outright.
Others, such as the Palms Casino, haven’t banned White, but they have reduced his credit line – a move that drew the ire of the entrepreneur. He stopped taking UFC events, such as The Ultimate Fighter, to their property after they reportedly sliced the amount that he could play with by up to 50%.
“The Palm [sic] has kicked me out of there twice, the Mirage, the Wynn will not let me play. The only places that will let me play in town are Caesar’s Palace, the Bellagio and the Venetian. All of those guys take really big play,” he said.
White and the Palms would later make up, but after the MMA aficionado won big again – $5m in cash to be precise – staff at the Palms refused to assist White in getting his money home. “I’m like, are you serious? We’re going to get killed! They don’t have some kind of suitcase where they put the money in.”
In the end, White became so accustomed to winning big that he even started taking trash bags with him to the casino to bring home his profits.
Dwayne Carter Jr, better known to music fans as Lil Wayne, is one of the most respected rappers in the game.
He’s a popular figure on the casino floor, though Wayne has been banned from Wynn Casino in Las Vegas – albeit for reasons that seem to stem from his past.
Having served jail time and probation for a number of different offences, Carter was reportedly banned from Wynn after being caught drinking alcohol there – this was thought to be in violation of his probation terms.
Wayne had performed on stage with Drake at the Hard Rock Casino in Vegas back in 2010, and while the afterparty rolled around to the Wynn, the five-time Grammy Award winner decided to hang out at the Palms instead.
Given his penchant for illusions and mind control, is it any wonder that Derren Brown is banned from casinos in the UK?
Having showcased his ability to count cards on TV – in a program literally called How to Take Down a Casino – and in his stage show, you can forgive the staff at the Broadway Plaza Casino for getting nervous when Brown sat down with some friends at the blackjack table.
The management understandably asked Brown to leave the blackjack table, but not without allowing him to dine and unwind first. The magician took to social media to reveal that casino staff had treated him very nicely, and understood why they hadn’t let him play blackjack given his talents for pattern recognition.
Brown would later reveal: “Over the years I’ve has been banned from playing at most of the UK’s casinos, so I wasn’t unduly surprised.”
An 11-time NBA All-Star, Allen Iverson will forever be regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
One of the character traits that many great sportsmen and women share is their innate competitiveness, but this can sometimes lead to trouble when things aren’t going their way – as Iverson has revealed on the casino floor when wins have proven hard to come by.
‘The Answer’, as he was known in his playing days, was booted out of the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City (it has since been taken over by Hard Rock) after taking receipt of an accidental payout of $10,000. Iverson flatly refused to hand it back once the mistake was identified, and law enforcement was called.
After transferring to the Detroit Pistons in 2009, Iverson was soon back in hot water as he explored the city’s casinos. His general demeanor, which included throwing chips and cards around when he lost and being verbally abusive to staff, eventually saw him banned by both MGM and Greektown.
Did Iverson learn his lesson? It seems not. In 2017, he signed up to play in the BIG3 franchise but decided to skip a game to instead frequent the Rivers Casino in Illinois. Eyewitnesses revealed that he was sat behind a huge stack of chips at the roulette wheel.
Remember Vince Neal? The former singer of rock band Mötley Crüe?
The stories of the band’s excess and shenanigans are the stuff of legend, though Neil’s ban from Palms Casino in Vegas back in 2012 was anything but rock and roll.
Like many a patron scorned, Neal took to social media to leave a bad review of the casino, criticizing staff and telling his legion of followers to boycott the venue until he received an apology. ‘Do [sic] to recent events, including distrust and dishonesty at the executive level. I will never again step foot @palms property,’ he tweeted.
In response, a spokesperson for Palms claimed that Neal had been ejected for bad behavior, and had been banned for that very reason.
It remains their word against his, but the upshot is that the singer is no longer allowed on the premises of the Palms.
His boss at the UFC has been banned from a number of casinos over the years, and MMA star Colby Covington has followed White onto the unwelcome list at the Palms Casino.
The welterweight was, by all accounts, minding his own business at the buffet restaurant when he was approached by fellow UFC star Kamaru Usman and his security team. A verbal altercation turned physical, with the whole incident filmed by astonished onlookers.
The evidence would suggest that Covington was by far from the guilty party during the episode, but it’s he who has been banned from the Palms ever since that fateful day in 2019.
The troubled former American football star served nine years in jail for armed robbery and assault when an attempt to recover some sporting memorabilia that belonged to him took a rather violent twist.
After being granted parole, Simpson decided to celebrate with a trip to The Cosmopolitan resort in Las Vegas. However, what was supposed to be a triumphant moment turned into an episode from which Simpson was banned from the premises.
The Cosmopolitan has a history of not commenting on matters relating to its guests, so only guesswork can go into figuring out why Simpson was banned. However, his spokesperson took it upon himself to comment that his boss was “not drunk or belligerent” on the night in question, which perhaps explains the root of the accusation.
With 11 Grammy Awards to her name and millions of record sales, Linda Ronstadt has quite a platform on which to air her views.
However, one boss of a Las Vegas casino was not best pleased when Ronstadt turned a live performance at their venue into a political broadcast espousing support for Michael Moore’s movie Fahrenheit 911, which was very much anti-George Bush.
Aladdin boss Bill Timmins had Ronstadt escorted from the premises after describing “all bedlam” breaking loose, though a subsequent buyout of the venue – which saw Timmins relinquish control – saw Ronstadt’s ban lifted.
One of the driving forces in the early days of Las Vegas’ transformation into an entertainment hotspot was the Rat Pack, that band of suave, charming crooners whose number included Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.
They would perform shows at venues on the famous Strip, ensuring that Nevada became a must-visit destination.
However, there was still very much a Mob influence in the early days, and Sinatra – known to have friends in high places – had an air of invincibility about him as he cavorted around the newly opened casinos.
Sinatra had a drinking problem that turned him violent and unpleasant, and it was only his connections with the gangsters running Vegas that ensured that he was never banned from a casino for his outlandish behavior.
As confirmed by Paul Anka, Sinatra was once so inebriated at the Las Vegas Sands that he stole a golf cart and drove it through a plate glass window before trying to set fire to the drapes in the hotel’s lobby.
Throwing chairs at croupiers, pouring coffee on people – it was all in a day’s work for Sinatra, who even allegedly tried to have his gangland connections execute Sands manager Carl Cohen after he punched the ‘My Way’ singer.