Hollywood Producer Joel Silver Reportedly Paid $1.7M Gambling Debt for Universal Pics COO Ron Meyer

Posted on: February 3, 2021, 11:43h. 

Last updated on: February 3, 2021, 12:17h.

Joel Silver, one of Hollywood’s most successful producers over the last 40 years, reportedly paid a $1.7 gambling debt in 2014 for entertainment colleague Ron Meyer.

Joel Silver Ron Meyer gambling casino marker
Joel Silver (left) and Ron Meyer are seen here in 2014 at the premiere of “Non-Stop” at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, Calif. A report has surfaced that Silver paid a $1.7 million casino debt held by Meyer the same year. (Image: Getty)

Anthony Pellicano, a former high-profile private investigator in Los Angeles, tells Variety that Silver sent a payment of $1,736,000 to Wynn Las Vegas in 2014 to cover Meyer’s debt. However, Pellicano contends that the money used to pay the casino marker was not Silver’s, but a third party.

Pellicano, who has spent several stints in federal prison for convictions of illegal possession of firearms, racketeering, and unlawful wiretapping, says someone else sent the more than $1.7 million to Silver. The producer then forwarded the money to Wynn Las Vegas.

Pellicano declined to say why Silver would agree to be a financial middleman for Meyer.

“There’s a big long story with all of this that I’m not going to tell you,” Pellicano told the entertainment media outlet. “There’s other things going on. It’s a matter of convenience. It’s no sinister thing. It’s an accommodation. That’s all.

While it remains unknown why Silver would facilitate a debt payment to a Las Vegas Strip casino on behalf of Meyer, what is known is that Meyer has a long history of gambling. And his love of the craps table has reportedly cost him tens of millions of dollars.

Silver has been behind some of the most successful Hollywood film series’ in recent decades. His credits include Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, and The Matrix.

Meyer’s Financial Mayhem

Ronald Meyer began building his fortune by cofounding Creative Artists Agency in 1975. He departed the talent group in 1995 to become president and COO of Universal Studios. He was promoted to vice chair of Universal Studios’ parent company NBCUniversal in 2013, a position he held until his resignation last September.

Meyer resigned after claiming he was being extorted by an unnamed woman who he admitted to having an affair with in 2012. The woman turned out to be actress Charlotte Kirk, who was just 20 years old at the time of the affair — 48 years  younger.

As the scandal hit the news, another sinister side story emerged regarding Meyer’s high-stakes gambling over the decades. The Daily Mail said “sources” in 2020 close to Meyer described the now 76-year-old as one “of the biggest craps players ever.”

Meyer’s not-so-confidants claimed he’s lost more than $100 million playing the dice game. Prior to his resignation, Meyer was pulling in around $25 million annually.

Casino Markers Explained

Many gamblers think of a marker as a line of credit, but it’s actually like writing a blank check to the casino. The casino reviews a person’s credit and gaming history before determining how much gaming credit to issue.

Casinos prefer gamblers to pay off their marker when they depart the property, or at least within 30 days.

If a player fails to pay on their marker after that time, the casino notifies the Bad Check Unit of the Clark County District Attorney’s Office. Large markers like Meyer’s can result in up to four years in prison, plus full restitution and additional legal penalties.