The helmer, who is best known for directing The Hangover and its sequels, would make his dramatic debut on the film.
The Gambler is a remake of the 1974 crime drama starring James Caan, and has been penned by The Departed scribe William Monahan.
The plot centres on a UCLA professor whose gambling problem lands him in hot water with a group of dangerous gangsters.
Original producer Irwin Winkler will return for the remake, while original studio Paramount is producing the project.
The Gambler would be Phillips's first film after The Hangover III, which begins filming in September and will be the final instalment in the series.
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The Hangover III will be released on May 24. Watch the trailer for The Hangover II below: