Born in Brighton in 1970, Tony Bloom has been a Brighton and Hove Albion fan since he was a child, and his family have been involved with the club at the top level for half a century.
He was drawn to gambling at an early age enjoying the seaside arcades in his home town, and even using a fake ID to bet on sports.
He studied mathematics at Manchester University but brought that education back to Brighton where he has worked tirelessly and invested heavily in the club, the town as a whole, and the Jewish community, since he himself is Jewish. He also runs a charitable organisation called The Bloom Foundation.
He has done so much for Brighton that he was given the freedom of the city in 2017.
As for gambling, well this is where Tony is thought to have made a large part of his fortune.
He made plenty of money as a city trader in the early days too, and he wasn’t from a poor family to begin with, but it is his head for numbers and his savvy betting decisions that have put him in the spotlight.
He has taken part in many poker competitions – this is where his nickname ‘The Lizard’ comes from, although those days seem to be behind him now – where he is thought to have won around £3.8 million in prize money over the years, and his ownership of race horses and a football club have seen him make several very large bets that are public knowledge, and who knows how many that are not.
He also runs an exclusive sports betting syndicate that is rumoured to be the most successful in the country, if not the Western world, as well as having a data and analytics company attached called Star Lizard, which deep dives into the statistics of many different sports, producing priceless information for anyone willing to pay for it.
Legend has it that you need at least £2 million to join his syndicate, so don’t get your hopes up.
He is often secretive about his financial and business affairs, but is thought to be worth over £1 billion, and is often referred to as the cleverest man to ever place a bet.
Tony Bloom's Biggest Bets
Having won the same race one year previous, Energumene was defending his title in the 2023 Champion Chase on day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival.
Being owned by Bloom, he was well aware of his horse's capabilities and whacked a solid £400k on it to win, and win it did, by a comfortable 10 lengths.
At 7/5, Bloom made around £560k plus prize money as the owner, which when added to his original stake tops £1.2 million pounds as a return. Not a bad day at the races for Tony.