People love watching professional athletes compete in various sports. Their immense popularity is something that many desire, but it requires an immeasurable amount of work.

That’s why becoming the best in a particular discipline requires a lot of dedication, persistence and focus. Still, that doesn’t mean that athletes from various sports don’t enjoy their time off. They’re still human and enjoy some regular activities like other people.

It’s interesting to see that one of the most popular activities among athletes is gambling. There are several reasons that this activity in particular is so appealing to professional players. That’s why many enjoy visiting Irish betting sites and other online platforms. Aside from betting, they also enjoy playing casino games. But we’ll discuss this in greater detail later. One thing is certain, rugby players are among those who’re most eager to have some fun at the casino. Let’s take a look at the most popular ones.

Shane Williams

Wales is home to many successful athletes. Welsh always give their best to make a significant impact on the Rugby Union. That’s why boys from this part of the UK give their best to beat their opponents. One of the athletes that stood out is Shane. His successful career has made him one of the best known Welsh rugby players. Aside from seeking adrenaline in the field, he does the same off of it. He is apparently a fan of sports betting and casino games. With all the choices at hand today, he probably enjoys a fast payout casino which allows him to quickly withdraw his winnings. The public was unaware of his participation in the gambling world until he teamed up with a gambling brand to promote them on social media. It was then obvious that the legend from Wales enjoys a variety of table games.

It looks like poker is his favourite though, he has even participated in big poker tournaments. However, we can’t say that he was successful.

Sebastien Chabal

There are several legends that made it big in the Rugby Union and Sebastien Chabal is one of them. The player was an impressive player. The combination of strength, speed and agility made him an excellent asset to teams such as Bourgoin Racing Metro and Lyon. Over almost 15 years of his senior career, he made over 200 appearances and 100 points.

However, his passion for competition is not only reserved for the rugby pitch. He is an avid fan of poker. He even participated in the promotion of a famous poker brand in his home country, France. Given how poker is a game of skill, it’s not a surprise that Sebastien enjoys playing it. There’s a degree of luck involved, but serious poker players know that it takes a lot of skill to repeatedly win.

James Haskell

Haskell is a player from Britain with an outstanding track record in the field. His impressive rugby career started back in 2002, and he remained active until 2019. Over the 17 years, he made over 250 appearances and scored over 140 points. James is practically a legend in the rugby world, being an incredible asset to 6 different teams. His biggest successes go back to London Wasps where he scored over 70 points.

His competitiveness continues when he’s out of practice. James enjoys playing casino games, as it provides him with more thrill that fuels his active personality. While we can’t say which game he enjoys the most, we can assume that he enjoys a little bit of everything. The good news is that he can play online casino games no matter where he is. As online platforms are mobile-friendly today.

David Susigan

David is a rare example of how changing careers is possible at any age. Susigan was a professional rugby player from France. His career spans over 6 years where he made numerous appearances for teams such as Castanet, Dijon and Chalo-sur-Saone. However, his love for poker kept attracting him to the game.

The most interesting part is that he became a very competitive poker player. His success continues to this day as he participates in numerous poker tournaments around the globe. It has allowed him to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars. Aside from competing in poker tournaments, the athlete certainly enjoys playing other casino games. It’s a great way to have fun and relax when he’s not competing in playing poker tournaments.

Mike Tindall

Mike Tindall is one of the most notable professional players in rugby. Now retired, he was a very successful player who spent his career in two teams, Bath Rugby and Gloucester Rugby. That speaks volumes of his loyalty and dedication to being a part of a team that’s resembling a family. Over the years, he had over 200 appearances and scored massive 270 points. Those statistics show how great he was. Off the field, he remain socially active and created numerous charities to help different nationalities around the globe.

One of his pastime activities is betting and playing casino games. While he’s not as passionate as the abovementioned players, he did strike an ambassador deal with famous UK sports betting brand. That shows that he certainly has some connections with the online casino world. It’s a completely normal way to blow off some steam, as many other professional athletes do the same. Let’s take a look at why that’s the case.

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Why Do Athletes Love Gambling?

The abovementioned rugby players are not the only ones that enjoy gambling. It’s typical for professional athletes to enjoy fun activities that get the blood flowing. They all have one thing in common, it’s called extreme competitiveness. Take Michael Jordan for example, he’s considered one of the most competitive athletes across all sports. In his documentary, The Last Dance, Jordan speaks about numerous occasions on which he enjoyed gambling due to his competitivenes.

Therefore, athletes want to beat the system and show that they’re better than the odds that are against them. On the other hand, some table games such as poker and blackjack require a certain degree of skill. Athletes like competing and they enjoy playing these types of games where they have the opportunity to beat other players. So athletes’ extreme competitiveness is the reason why they enjoy gambling so much.

Last but not least, it’s also important to say that they can afford it. Charles Barkley is the perfect example, as he could afford to gamble away millions of dollars. Professional athletes have a bigger bankroll and they can have more fun playing online casino games.


While rugby might not be the highest paying sport, it still offers enough for its best players to have some fun. Many of them quench their gambling thirst in brick-and-mortar casinos. But it’s safe to say that online casinos are an increasingly popular option. They can enjoy playing any kind of game in the warmth of their home. What’s more, many online casinos are now fully mobile-friendly, making casino games playable anywhere. One thing is certain, competitive athletes will always enjoy gambling more than the average player. Their distinct competitiveness is what drives them to the casino games. They simply believe that they can beat the player sitting across them.