While most people have a strict limit to how much they can spend when gambling for money (regardless of whether it’s self-imposed), a certain distinctive minority of gamblers go over the top in their gambling endeavors. These people are known as the whales of the gambling industry. Note that this term encompasses people different from regular high-rollers.
The whales are capable of spending tens of millions of dollars in a casino for a few days. Here’s our list of the most popular whales to ever grace a casino.
This person was very active in the gambling community during the nineteen nineties. In fact, he was so over-abundantly active that he was nicknamed the Prince of Whales. He was a media mogul hailing from Australia. One night, he busted up the MGM Grand in Vegas for more than $20 million. Certain witnesses claim that everything happened in 40 minutes. Imagine winning $20 million in 40 minutes and you will immediately understand why Kerry Packer was one of the biggest whales of the gambling industry in his prime.
This is where the special perks for the whales come into play. Terrance Watanabe had an incredibly high casino limit of no less than $17 million to play with. Also, he had a big suite to lounge in – as well as a special brand of rare vodka that he could drink to his heart’s content. Terrance Watanabe was an affluent American businessman. However, if you believe that he had got it set – then think again. Reportedly, he lost an incredible $127 million gambling in a high stakes casino, all in the course of the year 2007. He was known for the incredible zest with which he was gambling – he was known to take no pause for more than 24 hours at a time, even gambling while sleepwalking, and drinking all the time. Once he lost all that money, the casinos came to collect unpaid debts, and the disputes were settled out of the courts.
Also known as Tiger Mike, this is one of the biggest whales in gambling history. If you wondered how he got his money to gamble, he was an oil tycoon. So, there was never really a shortage of money by his side. He spent huge sums of money in the Vegas casinos, sometimes losing millions. As such a big patron, he received a reward from Wynn Las Vegas with a private villa, no less. He spent most of his last years gambling away the remaining savings.
This whale of gambling also serves as a cautionary tale. It all started well – he came as an immigrant from Greece to the United States of America, with no more than $50 in his pocket, ready to take on the American Dream. And he succeeded in this – winning no less than $40 million by playing high-stakes poker. However, over time, he lost all his winnings, and it’s said that he was even caught cheating, which led to bans in the Vegas casinos.
As you can see, the biggest whales of gambling had no qualms whatsoever about spending outrageously huge sums of money for gambling. And for this, they were rewarded with special perks such as lavish apartments and places to stay, free food, exquisite drinks, access to parties, and access to exclusive high-stakes gambling tables. Many were cautionary tales of what happens when you gamble excessively with huge sums of money.