Celebs Who Have Cashed In By Selling Themselves To Pokies
It’s been an interesting few years for US TV host and now pokie machine star Ellen DeGeneres (and all of us, to be fair). In April 2020, stories came out that crew members on her eponymous hit show were unhappy about their treatment during the Covid-19 pandemic. Workers on The Ellen DeGeneres Show reported a toxic environment on set and Ellen made a televised apology over the controversy.
More than a year later, in May 2021, the presenter announced her show was coming to an end, but all’s not lost as she is set to benefit hugely in royalties from her International Game Technology (IGT) pokies.
IGT was so confident that Ellen’s pokies would be a hit it made three: The Ellen DeGeneres Show Featuring Twelve Days of Giveaways, The Ellen DeGeneres Show Featuring Ellen’s Dance Party and Ellen’s Know or Go.
“When it became possible for us to license this brand, we knew it was obviously a great match with our core demographic, but we also knew how current Ellen is, how hot she is, how really successful her show continues to be,” said Joe Sigrist, senior vice president of global product development and operations at IGT. Little did they know everything was about to change.
As well as earning what could be millions of dollars a year from this slots deal, DeGeneres could use her association with Las Vegas to set up a residency in the gambling capital of the world, like so many stars have done before.
It was reported that Ellen DeGeneres was earning around $50 million a year hosting the Ellen talk show and she could hope to earn a similarly huge sum by performing or presenting a show in Las Vegas. Singer Jennifer Lopez made more than $100 million from her show in Las Vegas, which included 120 concerts.
Wheel of Fortune hosts, Pat Sajak and Vanna White
Ellen DeGeneres isn’t the only North American TV host making big bucks from Las Vegas slot machines. Wheel of Fortune legends, Pat Sajak and Vanna White, who have been hosting the show for a record 40 years, earn $14 million and $10 million respectively per year for their deal for the Wheel of Fortune pokie machine.
Madonna’s pokies, created by Aristocrat, shimmied on to the world slot stage in 2017, making their debut at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. The pop pokies pair are called simply Madonna and Madonna: Express Yourself.
Some of the songs featured in the slots are Borderline, Get into the Groove, Like a Virgin, Lucky Star, Open Your Heart, Vogue, and Material Girl. And Madonna hit the jackpot with this slots deal. The makers of the pokies paid Madonna an estimated $10 million to use her intellectual property in the casino game.
Britney Spears is another popstar to make a deal. Hers is with pokie creator Aristocrat. The software provider created several pokies with the pop princess. The first was named Britney Spears – imaginative, right? While enjoying a few rounds of the game, you can listen to hits like Hit Me Baby One More Time, Toxic, 3, Oops I Did It Again and Crazy. Aristocrat released a follow-up pokie in 2018, called Britney: One More Time.
You might notice a theme here. With Madonna and Britney featuring, Mariah fits in perfectly with the divas in this list. Aristocrat made the pokie machine Mariah Carey to be played at Caesars Palace in Vegas. Mariah, who is the best-selling female artist of all time, had a headlining residency in Las Vegas in 2018. The Mariah Carey slot game includes Mariah’s songs Dreamlover, Emotions, Fantasy, Heartbreaker, It’s Like That and Make It Happen.
You might have already played the Baywatch pokie game and if you have, you’ll be excited to discover one of its stars, David Hasselhoff, who played lifeguard Mitch Buchannon, has a handful of his own pokie machines, including The Hoff by OpenBet, Knight Rider by NetEnt, and Hoffmeister and Hoffmania, both created by software provider Novomatic. The Hoff is a pokie that allows casino players to help Hasselhoff become a millionaire celebrity. The Hoff has previously attended the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas to promote his casino games. What’s more, he’s enjoyed royalties from scratchcard games.
American country singer Tim McGraw is another celebrity to benefit from an Aristocrat pokie deal. He has previously enjoyed a residency performing in Sin City but now, he’s back in pokie machine form. McGraw attended the Global Gaming Expo in Vegas to show off his pokie, Tim McGraw. If you see the words “Truck yeah!” you’ll know you’ve won big, just like the Humble and Kind singer.