Gambling is a great recreational activity enjoyed by everyone from saints to sinners and princes to jerks. Here are a few of the notable jerks.
#4: Ben Affleck
This pampered Hollywood baby is a jerk if I’ve ever seen one. Okay, I don’t think that he’s a bad person, but I’m astounded by his misplaced arrogance and sense of entitlement. As for arrogance, this is the guy who went onto Real Talk with Bill Maher and attempted to speak authoritatively on the state of Islam in the world today.
• Ben Affleck was caught counting cards twice in less than two months
• Poker player Dan Bilzerian has sports car vanity plates reading “SUCK IT”
• Sheldon Adelson has made billions operating casinos, but thinks online gambling is “immoral”
That’s right, a member of the Hollywood elite who has done nothing to date except for make half-baked movies, felt qualified to go on TV and make claims about one the most complex social issues in the world, even going so far as to baselessly call Bill Maher a “racist.”
As for entitlement, this jerk made gambling news getting caught counting cards at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas and Caesar’s Windsor in a span of less than two months. While there is nothing wrong with counting cards, Affleck behaved in a brazen way, using a betting spread of $20,000.
When the dealer politely asked him to stop counting (a gesture that no garden variety gambler would get), he refused. That my friends, is being a jerk.
#3: Donald Trump
The billionaire entrepreneur is one of the most admired and despised men in America, famously declaring that “we should have a revolution in this country!” after Barack Obama won re-election in 2012.
His career has been full of as many failures as it has successes; not only does he have a terrible hairpiece, he has declared bankruptcy four times, following the construction of the $1 billion Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City in 1991, as well as in 2004, 2009 and 2014.
He will most certainly recover just fine from his latest bankruptcy declared earlier this year, but what about the hundreds of employees at the Trump Taj Mahal? The company’s proposed solution is to cut pension and healthcare benefits to workers so that the casino can turn enough of a profit to stay open, but there are fears that it will close its doors for good later this year.
Trump looks to be getting out of the casino business altogether, so he won’t be featured on next year’s list of biggest casino industry jerks. But he remains a massive jerk regardless.
#2: Dan Bilzerian
Professional poker player Dan Bilzerian is a self-proclaimed “asshole,” so there isn’t much controversy in calling him one of the biggest jerks in casino gambling. The Florida native (a state not known for producing high-class people) has won a lot of money playing cards and operating a business, and that success has clearly gone to his head.
With a net worth of about $100 million, Bizerian owns a sports car with a vanity plate reading “SUCK IT” and once told reporters: “when I was a kid, when I grew up I never wanted to be classy. I wanted to be rich.” It looks his he got his wish on both counts.
Perhaps the crowning achievement of his illustrious career of jerkery came earlier this year when he threw porn star Janice Griffith off of a roof and into a swimming pool, breaking her foot in the process. To be fair, she consented to everything, but for a 32-year old man to be throwing people off of roofs is pretty silly. But hey, any publicity is good publicity when you’re an attention whore.
#1: Sheldon Adelson
Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is certainly the most difficult person on this list to pin down. Affleck mostly wants attention, Trump is in it for the money and absolutely nothing else, Bilzerian is motivated by fame and women in bikinis, but what does Adelson really want?
Ok, let’s start with money. His net worth hovers around $40 billion and growing. But he could make even more money by investing in online casinos in America, yet refuses to do so. Rather he has made himself the archenemy of online gambling, claiming that in order to stop it “I’m willing to spend whatever it takes… My moral standard compels me to speak out on this issue.”
If it seems ironic that a man who has built a fortune cashing in on other people’s gambling losses thinks that internet gambling is immoral and socially harmful, that’s because it is. It’s beyond ironic, it’s laughable.
But what really makes Adelson a jerk? The fact that he’s rich and willing to use his piles of money to get his way, no matter the cost. He spent roughly $100 million attempting to get a Republican President in office in 2012, and he’s pledged to spend even more in 2016.
He’s also an extremely vocal lobbyist in favor of the Israeli blockade of Gaza and occupation of the West Bank, going so far as to use his bankroll to turn presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich from a Palestine sympathizer to one considering them to be an “invented people.”
I would never claim the right to call Adelson a jerk because of his political beliefs, but I will call him a jerk because of his willingness to bribe others to do his bidding.