By most measures, there has never been a better time to be a Bollywood star than right now. India’s film industry is attracting record numbers of fans worldwide, with millions of people joining their legions every year. In addition, there has never been a more lucrative time to be a Bollywood actor. Total worldwide revenues for Bollywood films hit an all-time high of $2.57 billion in 2019 – a number that is projected to double by 2024.
With all of this cash floating around, Bollywood’s leading lords and ladies are more flush than ever, with some boasting pay packets that rival even the most well-known Hollywood stars. Perhaps it is no surprise then, that there is no shortage of Bollywood stars that look to partake in gambling. If you’re wondering who the most enthusiastic gamblers in Bollywood are right now, read on to find out.
1. Shilpa Shetty & Raj Kundra
Queen of Bollywood Shilpa Shetty may not be known to be keen on the casinos, but that doesn’t mean she’s no fan of gambling. Reportedly, her and her husband, the business tycoon Raj Kundra, regularly host extravagant poker parties at their beachside mansion in Dubai. Shetty, however, admits that her skills are nowhere near as developed as her husband’s, who she says is a master poker player who regularly frequents the card tables of Las Vegas during his downtime.
2. Amy Jackson
British-born Bollywood starlet Amy Jackson, originally from Liverpool, is one of the most recognisable faces in Bollywood today. While most fans might know her for her high cheekbones and unique acting method, few know that she is a massive fan of horse racing. In fact, her love of the sport secured her a spot last year as the official Ladies’ Day ambassador for the Grand National, the biggest horse racing event in the UK. When she’s not placing a wager on the Grand National bettings, you’ll be able to spot her strutting her stuff at Aintree Racecourse. This year, Tiger Roll is the favourite to land in the first place at the Grand National, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Amy Jackson betting on it, considering the ten-year-old was also victorious in 2018 and 2019.
3. Minissha Lamba
The insanely talented Minissha Lamba is one of Bollywood’s most prolific actresses, with a resume longer than a Tolstoy novel. While her stint on Big Boss 8 showed us that she has tons of personality, fans might be surprised to learn that she is a seriously fanatic poker player. Lamba claims she was first introduced to poker by a group of university friends a decade ago and has been hooked ever since. These days, you can catch her taking part in local and national poker tournaments across India when she’s not working.
4. Aamir Khan
Aamir Khan is a legend in his own right. With a thirty-year career that has landed him on TIME‘s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the world and more controversies than we could possibly count, Khan is the definition of Bollywood royalty. For any social climber hoping to gain entry into his inner circle, their best bet is to gain access to one of Khan’s regular poker meetings that he hosts at his mansion every week. The guest list is pretty exclusive, so it might take some ingenuity to snag an invite.
These are the Bollywood stars that we know are big fans of gambling and betting. Watch this space to see if any more A-list gamblers are revealed in the future.