We all know that gambling is about being lucky. Even though there are still many who promise foolproof systems and methods that can bend the odds in the player’s favor, the fact is that when at a casino, everything depends on chance. You can try your hand at Royal Vegas exciting new video games or visit as many Sin City casinos you like, if Lady Luck is not on your side, your chances of winning are slim. Not that winning would the main reason players go to Vegas or the Royal Vegas, for that matter: most people go to casinos or visit online gaming venues for the fun of it. Or, as an article published in “The Atlantic” back in 2014, “Gamblers are not actually seeking the most convenient or efficient place to win money, but the most comfortable space in which to lose it.”
While you won’t see too many people blow away millions a day at an online casino like the Royal Vegas, you’ll see some that do just that in the various land-based temples of Goddess Fortuna. And most of them are not sore losers either.
Kerry Packer was the owner and board member of Channel Nine, Australian Consolidated Press, and Australia’s Publishing and Broadcasting Limited – in short, he was an Australian media mogul, and he was rich. In 2004, Business Review Weekly estimated his net worth to total AU$6.5 billion – that’s more than $5.2 billion at today’s exchange rate. He was one of the richest and most influential men in Australia, and one of the country’s most powerful media proprietors, until his passing in 2005. But his businesses are just one thing for which he will be remembered – the other one will be his gambling habit.
Kerry Packer was an avid gambler, famed for his big wins and losses. At one time, he lost A$28 million during a three-week streak in different London casinos, and with another occasion, he won A$33 million at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas. But one of his most amazing acts was in the late 1990s when he walked into a South East England casino and lost £15 million at its roulette tables. At the end of his losing streak, he simply walked out with no regrets. He surely wasn’t a sore loser.
In the sea of poker, there are two big animals constantly circling each other: sharks and whales. Sharks are the ones always seeking for money to be made, and whales – amateur players with a bottomless bankroll – are their ideal prey. One of the biggest whales in Las Vegas history was Oriental Trading Company owner Terry Watanabe, who reportedly lost more than $200 million over a single year.
Watanabe’s losing streak at the Caesars is the stuff of legends. Reportedly, the casino did whatever the businessman wanted, including reassigning any employees he didn’t like, and even looking the other way when things got, well, hot. All this because he was “the biggest whale of the biggest whales”, losing a total of $204 million and ending up owing the casino $14.5 million at the end of his run.
Watanabe proved to be a sore loser, suing the casino for apparently allowing him to gamble while intoxicated.