July 18, 2022 2 min read


WSJ: Elon Musk Considered Trusting Former Gambler with Charity Distribution

The maverick investor and hot Twitter mouth Elon Musk was planning to entrust the charitable distribution of his fortune to Igor Kurganov, a thirty-something professional gambler, who has won $18,715,562 playing live poker.

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In an article published by the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, the media argued that Kurganov would have been in charge of the billionaire’s charitable efforts. Kurganov has described himself as a college dropout with a pot-smoking habit.

Musk sought out Kurganov’s advice on a regular basis in the fourth quarter of 2021, but the two didn’t know themselves during Kurganov’s formative years as a professional gambler. Musk did not act rashly, though, as the pair had been communicating for a while, leading to Musk promising a job at his foundation and considering allocating $5 billion for Kurganov to distribute to charitable organizations and campaigns.

Musk is keen on introducing a new form of charity which he describes as “effective altruism.” According to this approach, subjective qualities and relative charitable needs can both be qualified, but the method has been met with criticism.

Musk’s potential pick for the charitable foundation was contested internally though. Jared Birchall, a 48-year-old pious Mormon who is in charge of Neuralink, reportedly opposed Musk’s intention to let Kurganov be in charge of the $230 billion war chest and manage the charitable efforts.

Kurganov himself though was never in control of Musk’s entire fortune, the media argued. Kurganov was also once allegedly investigated by the FBI, the Wall Street Journal said. As to Musk, he had a change of hurt and stopped seeking out Kurganov’s advice. Whether this was done because of internal pressure or a realization that the man may not be the best for the job remains unknown.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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