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Casino Whale – Las Vegas High Rollers

Jonn Seo | April 28, 2021 | Updated on: May 17th, 2024

Whales usually have a budget (front money or a credit line) that ranges from $1M to $20M and in a weekend they could easily be up or down millions.

At casinos, players might get free drinks for gambling away hard-earned money. though it is the high rollers who the casinos are really counting on to build their enormous profits.

High rollers, who have budgets that range from $100k to $1m, and more especially the biggest casino whales, whose budgets can run into the tens of millions, are the real clients that casinos do everything to bring in the door.

Casino Whale- high rollers

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Stories Of The Top Casino Whales Of All Time

Archie Karas – on his entrance in Las Vegas, he had only $50 in his pocket and managed to run this up to over $40M before he lost it all.  Although he’s a keen poker player, his love of Craps is what allowed for this massive run to take place, which took place over several years across multiple casinos in Las Vegas.

Terrance Watanabe– made his fortune as the heir to his father’s party-supply import company. The Nebraska millionaire treated his cash with the same lack of attention as his customers treated the cheap plastic trinkets he got rich selling. Terrance Watanabe then became one of the most sought-after whales in the whole world not just because he enjoyed gambling, but because he was terrible at it.

Charles Barkley – famous NBA star Charles Barkley is fond of gambling and estimates that he’s lost close to $30M over his lifetime.  His favorite game is Blackjack and he usually plays on the main open floor and he is friendly allowing people to watch him play.

Don Johnson – A real-life hero to most in the gambling world, Don became world-famous in 2011 for winning $15m from three of the top Atlantic City casinos in mere days.

Kerry Packer – An Australian business magnate, was one of the most fearless gamblers of all time, continually risking tens of millions on every session he played and he won a lot.  Packer booked estimated wins of $9M from Hilton Las Vegas in 1992, and it’s also rumored to have won upwards of $33M from MGM in one particular session at $300K per hand.

How Casinos Attract Players

  1. Suites & Villas – Always free for players, accommodations are the first steps in courting the biggest casino players and since they usually are traveling with family and/or friends, we are talking about multi-bedroom penthouse suites or villas that are thousands of square feet.
  2. Casino Host – The casino host is also known as the gatekeeper, confidant, and makes things happen person that works for the casino and manages the relationship with big players.
  3. Comps & Perks – In addition to the host, the player has a negotiated a list of comps, perks, and incentives with the casino for their action.