Even successful young pop stars have to watch their bankrolls when gambling it seems: last year, the members of the uber popular boy band One Direction were warned by their management against gambling in casinos after the group got a little carried away and lost a bundle. In fact, they apparently lost enough money during their time in an Australian casino for member Niall Horan to say that “it got a bit ugly and a lot of money was lost.”
Boys Behaving Badly
Since that time, there had been no further reports of One Direction at the casino tables, and many wrote off the incident as a one-time occurrence that was as much about the boys having turned 18 (the legal gambling age in Australia) and being able to go into a casino for the first time as anything else. But this week, band member Harry Styles was seen in another Australian casino playing roulette, fueling more speculation around the band’s activities – especially among the group’s very devoted fan base.
The revelation came after photos were taken of Styles at a roulette table in the early morning hours. The photos came from the Crown Perth casino, where Styles was playing roulette in the Pearl Room, an expanded VIP area for high rollers that first opened at the Crown in 2006.
Even before the most recent sighting, many believed that Styles had an interest in the game of roulette. A tattoo just below his left shoulder reads “17BLACK,” which seems to be a clear reference to the game and his favorite betting combination on it. In addition, Styles referenced the game when sending a birthday tweet to Horan, saying “Harry Birthday. Behave yourself. All on red.”
Given the incredible success of One Direction’s members, and the fact that nobody has seen any of the band members gambling on a regular basis, nobody is accusing Styles or any of his band mates of having a gambling problem or wondering if he’ll blow his fortune. In fact, the only personal issue may come from another “dressing down” from the band’s management, like the one members said they received after their first casino visit last year.
But for some, the image of a young man who has tons of impressionable teenage fans gambling on even a semi-regular basis may not sit well. There has been research that suggests that those who begin gambling in their teenage years are more likely to develop gambling problems later – though it’s unclear whether any of the millions of young girls who hang on every word that comes from One Direction will decide to try gambling just because the band members have.
There was no word on how much Styles may have won or lost during his time at the tables, and a spokesperson declined to comment on the story.
One Direction was formed in 2010 when the five members were rejected as solo acts on the British television series The X Factor, after which they were grouped together to perform as a boy band. After finishing third in that competition, they gained popularity throughout the UK and continued performing. They released the number one hit “What Makes You Beautiful” in September 2011, and have so far released two albums with a third coming in November. They were also featured in the recent film One Direction: This is Us, which featured their latest single, “Best Song Ever.”