Like it or not, gaming – betting or casino ventures – is here to stay in pro sports, and here are some hockey players who have gotten into business with some gaming ventures, but used it as a platform to give to worthy causes:
The first Indigenous hockey player elected to the BC Sports Hall of fame, Gino Odjick was of the toughest in the game. During his eight-year Vancouver Canucks career, he amassed 2500+ penalty minutes trying to protect both the goal and his smaller teammates. When other enforcers tried to rough up Pavel Bure, a former superstar, and a goal-machine, Odjick was one to stick up for him frequently. Eventually, the Russian Rocket became his lifelong friend.
The natural-born leader was also a fans’ cult hero who changed the entire team’s mentality. For many years after, his aggressive style of playing proved useful in the Playground Poker Club, where all his winnings were transferred to charities in need. The games he played there, you can easily find in Yukon Gold casino Canada, and try your hand at the level of the legend.
Throughout his entire career, the iconic Canuck and Panther was involved in many charities. Just as an example, you could see him as a Canuck Palace regularly while entertaining children in need. He also sponsored the underprivileged to attend his team’s home matches. Luongo also paid much attention to seniors and the profit gathered from the Roberto Luongo Golf Open went to the center in Saint-Leonard.
The goaltender was a fond rounder and eventually participated in the World Series of Poker, not to mention a series of other bigger and smaller tournaments around the world. Luongo gave away any winnings to charities.
Along with his impressive 61 National Hockey League records, the “Great One” is also an award-winning NHL player who influenced many. He also won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy , a true gentleman of the game.
He is the only hockey player who managed to score over 200 points in a season with a schedule full of NHL games, which he managed to do four times, and he scored more than 100 points fifteen times. He was named the league’s MVP nine times in ten consecutive seasons (from 1979/80 to 1986/87, and 1988/89). Wayne’s jersey with the number 99 is the only jersey that was withdrawn from use by all NHL teams.
His post-game career and legacy are equally impressive just like his business ventures. The former Olympian owns a couple of lower-league hockey sides and had a colorful business career. For example, in 1992, the Gretzky-McNall cooperation bought a rare Honus Wagner card for about $450K later to be sold for over $2.8 million.
The series of business gambling ventures continued when they purchased thoroughbred racehorses. In 1990, one of them called Saumarez set at the number one position in Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe race in Paris. Another interesting fact is that Gretzky stars in a couple of video games and ice hockey slots in casinos where you can lead him to greater glory.
Gretzky often uses money from any gaming ventures to benefit the needy.
Daniel & Henrik Sedin
Along with their memorable performances on the ice, the twins Daniel and Henrik were also famous for their charitable work which was intelligently associated with gambling. As a matter of fact, the Sedin brothers regularly organize Dice and Ice casino nights as money-raising events to fund children’s hospitals, day-care centers, and charities. Moreover, the twins host annual casino charity nights where all money collected through gambling activities is transferred to the rare diseases’ treatments.
During their career, the identical twins were drafted to NHL at the age of 18 and moved to the Vancouver Canucks, where they spent 17 pro seasons. They had the same success and took the Art Ross Trophy each, while fans mixed up their names regularly. Even the fellow players were constantly confusing them in the locker room.