Wont Believe These 5 Crazy Tales of Las Vegas Whales
Tiger Mike Davis (Image Credit: CNBC.com)
folks head to the bright lights of Las Vegas for a long weekend of decadence:
crazy pool parties, world-famous shows and the chance to win a fortune on the
then there are the casino whales of Las Vegas, who live by entirely different
rules and play in a category all of their own.
were not talking about a pod of marine mammals that took a wrong turn on
the Strip. Were talking about the equally rare and lesser-spotted attractions,
who are also known as Vegass extreme high-rollers.
rarefied guests who consistently wager eye-watering amounts of money in a single
night, undertake high-stakes gambling, spend like its going out of style
and lets face it
are also most likely to be filthy rich millionaires.
are the biggest and most famous whales in Las Vegas?
In the whale world you
go big or you go home, so enjoy a few of the eyebrow-raising, real-life Las Vegas
whale stories weve collated below
Edward Tiger Mike Davis
youre interested in old-school whales, look no further than former oil tycoon
Tiger Mike for the quintessential example. The businessman passed
away in 2016 aged 85, but is still remembered for being one of the biggest gamblers
Sin City has ever seen.
reportedly wore specially-tailored suits with inside pockets for cash and a pistol
and stashed hundreds of thousands of dollars in the trunk of his car. In fact,
he was apparently such a high-spending patron of Wynn Las Vegas that he was given
his own villa on the premises by owner Steve Wynn.
rumored Davis was not the exactly the God of Gamblers, supposedly
losing millions across the Bellagio Hotel and Casino and Wynn, and is said to
have intentionally spent his final months gambling away much of his remaining
stories dont get much better than this. Sounding much like the plot of a
Hollywood movie, Karass rags to riches story is better PR than any casino
could dream up.
Greek immigrant who arrived in America, learnt how to play poker and then turned
up in Vegas with only $50 in his pocket, Karas went on a three-year winning streak
and turned that $50 into a whopping $40m.
said to wager $100k per hand, Karas eventually lost his fortune, was reportedly
caught cheating and is now banned from all casinos in Nevada. Hes said to
still be gambling, but its not quite a silver screen-worthy ending.
imported vodka, a three-room suite and a $17m gambling limit were all American
businessman Watanabes to enjoy. Sounds great, right?
with such high stakes comes responsibility. This notorious whale lost $127m at
Caesars Palace and The Rio in 2007, according to reports, after being banned from
Wynn Las Vegas.
stories of excessive drinking, 24-hour gambling and even sleepwalking doing the
rounds, Terrys story quickly spun from a win to a loss and became a tragic
cautionary tale. Casinos attempted to sue for unpaid debts, which led to a counter-suit
from the businessman, before a settlement was eventually reached out of court.
The Prince of Whales, Australian media mogul Packer was a prolific
gambler in the 1990s.
to The Independent, the multimillionaire once took the MGM Grand in Las
Vegas for $20m in just 40 minutes, which is no mean feat. While playing
blackjack, hes said to have bet up to $250,000 on a betting square, before
tipping each dealer $2,500. Phew.
of the most notorious Las Vegas whales, who has been making a splash in the headlines
as recently as September 2019, when he was sentenced to three years in prison.
His charge? Cheating the IRS out of more than $28m according to Las
Vegas Review Journal.
believed his illicit activities were, in part, due to an attempt to maintain his
glamorous lifestyle and repay millions in gambling losses at Vegas casinos
where he had wagered and lost around $175M. That would make him one of the biggest
gamblers to ever grace the Strip.
whats the difference between a whale and a high roller?
How do you spot
a Las Vegas whale in the wild? Grab your binoculars and look out for those tell-tale
signs such as abundant perks and incentives. Regular comps from casinos for super
high-rollers are said to include extended credit, discounts on losses, exclusive
use of tables with high limits, private rooms and concerts, use of limos and private
jets, penthouse suites, and free food.
whats the difference that marks out a mega whale from a regular
run-of-the-mill high roller? It is, of course, the b-word
this handy guide from AllWorld.com, they define a garden-variety high-roller as
someone with a cool $100,000 to $1M for a regular 3-day weekend visit,
while a whale would likely have between $1M to $20M to play with across a few
days, with single bets upwards of $25,000 per hand.
a lot of potential revenue. No wonder these cash-rich customers, who are estimated
to number under 200, are so highly sought-after by casinos, and so fascinating
to the rest of us.
here for the full article and multimedia