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5 Aussie and Kiwi Actors Who Like Casino Games

It seems that Hollywood is full of actors who love to gamble with many stars of Tinseltown including Matt Damon, Charlie Sheen, Tobey Maguire, and Ben Affleck, the star of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, all loving to try their hand at games such as blackjack, roulette, poker and even slots and bingo.

But what about the homegrown talents? Which actors and actresses from Australia and New Zealand love to gamble? Read our list and find out!

Josh Lawson's poker face

Australia's Joker Poker was the first locally produced poker program to air in Australia so it was only natural that the show was packed full of celebrity stars, all playing poker for a good cause. Among the second series guests was Josh Lawson, the Brisbane actor who is best-known for his role as Doug Guggenheim in House of Lies. It seems this "liar" had a great poker face, as he made it to the Final Table of the series.

Ahn Do plays poker
Vietnamese-born Australian actor Ahn Do was another famous face to appear on Joker Poker, starring alongside Lawson in his series two episode. Do has had a wide-ranging career having appeared on Thank God You're Here and Good News Week. Do has even been a finalist twice in the Archibald Prize for his artistic talent, but sadly, his poker playing is less of a masterpiece, hence why Lawson proceeded to the final table and he didn't win!

Aaron Pedersen's bluffs for charity

Another Australian poker TV show is the Crown Australian Celebrity Poker Challenge which aired in 2006 and gave famous folks a chance to win $50,000 for themselves and another $50,000 for their chosen charity. Aaron Pedersen was among the cast of the show. Pedersen is best-known for his roles as Detective Jay Swan in Mystery Road and Detective Senior Constable Michael Reilly in Water Rats but his serious acting skills didn't help him with his poker face much as he was unable to win the poker challenge.

Mel Gibson plays blackjack
American-born Australian actor Mel Gibson has garnered international fame for his roles in movies such as Braveheart, Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome, and Lethal Weapon 4, but his off-camera antics have also won him a few headlines too. In 2015 the Aussie actor was pictured hitting up a Sydney casino where he reportedly spent $200 on blackjack. Although Gibson is said to have enjoyed himself, it must not have been easy to win at blackjack when fans are snapping pics over your shoulder. For a megastar like Gibson, he would have been better off playing at online casinos where he could play blackjack and other casino games such as roulette, themed slots and craps from the comfort of his own home, without amateur paparazzi cramping his style. That's what we'd do if we were him.

Simon Burke's a gambling fan
Australian actor Simon Burke has had an incredibly varied career, starring in stage shows such as The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins, as well as Michael Cove's Kookaburra. So it made some sense when Burke starred in the poker challenge show too, with this poker fan adding to his already eclectic list of roles!

While the biggest names on the celebrity gambling scene may hail from Hollywood, there is no shortage of Aussie and Kiwi actors who love to place a bet or two as well! Some of them are far better at it than others, though, suggesting that they'll need to brush up on their casino gaming skills as well as their acting ones.

Published July 2, 2018

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