Top 10 Richest Gamblers

Gambling is certainly not a reliable get-rich-quick scheme, but for some, they've been able to make a decent sum of money from gambling (and business). We take a look at the folks whose gambles paid off — literally.

Ranked

Have you ever wondered who the richest professional gamblers in the world are? We did too — while there will always be debate over whether gambling success is attributed to luck or skill, but there’s no denying that the folks on this list are some of the richest gamblers in the world.

Although it is rare to get rich from gambling, it can happen! Today, we’re looking at ten of the richest professional gamblers in the world, and how they came to earn their riches.

It’s difficult to know the exact earnings and net worth of the best bettors & players, especially when many of them have other high-earning side-hustles as business owners, social media influencers, or trust-fund babies. We’re unsure of exactly which portion of their net worth has come from other business ventures, but for the most part, it’s their gambling prowess that has brought on other business successes — so in terms of money, who’s the most successful gambler? 

Richest Gamblers 2024

  • Howard Lederer, $60 million
  • Phil Ivey, $100 million
  • Billy Walters, $100 million
  • Terry Ramsden, $200 million
  • Dan Bilzerian, $200 million
  • Zeljko Ranogajec, $441 million
  • Alan Woods, $485 million
  • Edward Thorp, $800 million
  • Bill Benter, 1 billion
  • Tony Bloom, $1.7 billion

Honorable Mentions:

  • Patrik Atonius, $25 million
  • Andrew Black, $20 milliono

10. Howard Lederer

  • Net Worth: $60 million

Another poker player on our list, Lederer is Annie Duke’s older brother — and he hasn’t just made money from playing poker, but helping others master their poker skills.

He’s authored books, made 14 appearances on Poker After Dark, has provided commentary for a variety of poker media, and even hosted poker fantasy camps.

Lederer is also an original founder of Full Tilt Poker, which closed on February 25, 2021.

9. Phil Ivey

  • Net Worth: $100 million

Phil Ivey, a.k.a. The “Tiger Woods of Poker”, is a professional poker player. He is one of the richest poker players in the world, second only to Dan Bilzerian, whose claims of his money coming from winning high-stakes poker games have been widely disputed. 

Phil was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2017 and is the youngest player to win 10 World Series of Poker bracelets, which he achieved at age 38. In addition to this, Ivey took only 14 years to receive all 10 bracelets and holds the record for most bracelets won in non-Hold’em events. 

8. Billy Walters

  • Net Worth: $100 million

Though Billy Walters is retired from professional gambling, his legacy lives on as a legendary Las Vegas sports bettor who once had a 30+ year winning streak. His net worth is disputed as being between $100-$500 million, though most sources state it is $100 million.

Billy had a successful career as a car salesman until 1981 when he quit pursuing sports betting full-time. He joined the Computer Group later in the 80s, using computer analysis to analyze the outcomes of sporting events. Now, he is known as one of the United States’ best bettors.

7. Terry Ramsden

  • Net Worth: $200 million

Terry Ramsden is an investor, specializing in the Japanese business market during the 1980’s, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t make a pretty penny betting on horse racing — in fact, he was once the 57th richest person in the UK.

Ramsden began betting on low stakes races, before purchasing a company that focused on betting on horses — initially, the company turned a small profit, taking only three years to turn a £3.5 billion ($4.1 billion in USD).

However, Ramsden doesn’t boast the same net worth as he did in the 80’s — He lost a lot of money after a stock market crash, had £100 million in debt, and was even eventually arrested for fraud.

6. Dan Bilzerian

  • Net Worth: $200 million?

As mentioned above, the source of Dan Bilzerian’s riches has been disputed heavily, with many claiming that he lies about his net worth. Dan claims his money has come almost entirely from a successful ultra-high-stakes poker career, although this has never been proven. Dan played in the WSOP Main Event in 2008, finishing in 180th place. He says he doesn’t play poker against professionals anymore, however, he is a brand ambassador for GGPoker.

It’s speculated that a majority of Dan’s wealth is from family money, as his father was a corporate raider on Wall Street. Aside from participating in private cash poker games with other amateurs, Dan also runs Ignite International Brands Ltd and has bitcoin investments, among others. 

5. Zeljko Ranogajec

  • Net Worth: $610 million AUD, 

Zeljko Ranogajec found success in forms of advantage gambling, specifically horse betting and playing blackjack for real money. The Australian-born man has a net worth of $610 million AUD, which is equivalent to just over $450 million USD in 2021. In 2011, he was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame.

Zeljko studied tax, finance, and banking at the University of Tasmania, and taught himself how to count cards at the blackjack table while working at a casino. He was eventually banned from all casinos in Australia, so he moved to the US and took up card counting in Vegas. When he was ultimately banned from Vegas casinos, he moved back to Australia and found success in horse betting.

4. Alan Woods

  • Net Worth: $38 million USD, $670 million AUD

Prior to his death in 2008, Alan Woods was considered one of the best professional gamblers in the world. In fact, due to his high net worth of $670 million AUD (just over $500 million USD), he still is one of the richest gamblers in the world!

Alan studied mathematics at the University of New England in Australia but did not graduate (or game the casino tables like the MIT Blackjack team). He began gambling with poker machines but was not very successful. He was a fan of the card game bridge and learned how to count cards from other bridge players. He played blackjack professionally for three years before retiring and moving to Hong Kong with Bill Benter to focus on horse betting.

3. Edward O. Thorp

  • Net Worth: $800 million

Edward O. Thorp is a largely successful blackjack player and author of the book Beat the Dealer, where he uses math to prove that the house advantage in blackjack can be overcome with card counting. Many other successful blackjack players have cited this book as a significant stepping stone in their success, including Bill Benter.

Edward has a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California and has worked as a math professor at several universities. Following his success with gambling, Edward took his math abilities to the stock market and developed methods to make money from stocks. He was one of the original seven to be inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame in 2002.

2. Bill Benter

  • Net Worth: ~$1 billion

No doubt the most successful gambler in the world is Bill Benter. His gambling focus is horse betting, though he began his gambling career with blackjack. After reading Beat the Dealer, he became very successful as a blackjack player but was later banned from every Vegas casino after they discovered he was card counting.

Together with the late Alan Woods, another very successful gambler, Bill moved to Hong Kong and developed computer software to predict and choose horse race winners. It is rumored that Bill makes over $100 million per year through all of his business ventures.

tony bloom brighton fc scarf in football stands

Tony Bloom, decked out in Brighton blue.

1. Tony Bloom

  • Net Worth: $1.7 billion 

The number one spot on our list goes to Tony ‘the Lizard’ Bloom, known for poker and sports betting. Like most others on this list, Bloom’s fortune comes for a number of business ventures — but his gambling prowess undoubtedly sweetened the deal.

In addition to gambling, Bloom’s been heavily involved in property investment made a final appearance on the World Poker Tour, and has even created his own gambling sites.

Bloom is now the chairman for the Brighton & Hove Albion football club, and is also a majority shareholder of Belgian football club, Royale Union Saint-Gilloise.

Honorable Mentions

Andrew Black

  • Net Worth: $20 million

Andrew Black’s made his impact on gambling in a huge way — a former professional poker player, Black went on to found the online betting exchange BetFair (LON: FLTR) with partner Ed Wray, which is now worth around a billion USD.

Patrik Antonius

  • Net worth: $25 million

Finnish poker player Patrik Antonius originally started with an entirely different game — tennis. After an injury cut his tennis career short, he began playing poker at a local casino, and eventually started to enter larger tournaments.

Why has Antoniuus earned an ‘honorable mention’ spot on our list? He once made $1.3 million in just one hand in online poker, and earned over  $17 million of his fortune just by playing poker.

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Dave Consolazio

Dave Consolazio has been passionate about writing and sports journalism since his high school years. He has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from USC where he worked with the school's radio and television stations. His work has been featured in SportsbookReview, Sports Illustrated and SB Nation. Dave's experience ranges across multiple fields in the gambling industry. You can find his sports, casino, and poker articles in GambleOnline.co.

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