Gladys Knight is known as the Empress of Soul. She is an American songwriter, actress, author and businesswoman. She is best known for her hits that were recorded during the ’60s, 70,s and ’80s. Here two most popular songs were” Midnight Train to Georgia “and “That’s What Friends Are For,” which hit number one in the Billboard 100. Two of her songs were also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and she also recorded the theme song for the 1989 James Bond film Licence to Kill.
Many do not know that she had a gambling addiction that plagued her for over a decade and cost her thousands of dollars.
Gladys Knight and Gambling
Knights game of choice was Baccarat and Blackjack. Due to having plenty of downtime after shows that mainly took place in casinos in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, she invariably found herself playing Blackjack and Baccarat to pass the time. In 1981 Knight was forced to deal with her demons associated with her growing and costly gambling habit. Living in Las Vegas at that time, she succumbed to the temptation of Table Games and Baccarat.
Knight said her addiction happened gradually; she was lonely, her personal life a complete mess, and broke after spending over a million dollars looking for her son after he was kidnapped. The one place she felt safe was casinos; they gave her a sense of camaraderie, and the pit bosses and dealers became her family. She was safe behind the red velvet ropes, protected from scam artists and autograph seekers, and fed free of charge.
After losing everything she had in a Baccarat Game, Knight knew it was time to call it quits and immediately contacted Gamblers Anonymous. Today she still tours and is as successful as before and often finds herself in casinos but the allure of chasing cards is gone and long nights at tables is gone.