Poker has recently gained popularity, but it is not the only casino game that attracts high-stakes gamblers and business magnates with deep pockets. In fact, some of those high rollers, also known as “whales” in Las Vegas lingo, have won and lost real money while betting on the outcome of a roulette wheel spin
The punter whale is a critically endangered species, with a global population of less than 500 individuals. When a high-stakes gambler visits a casino, he is frequently escorted by a personal entourage (impressive bodyguards and beautiful girls who might help him get lucky), and he is treated special by hoteliers. This is because the casino expects him to bring in a lot of money. The world’s most successful gamblers can afford to lose sums of money that the average person may not even earn in their lifetime. A $50,000 stake is a drop in the bucket for whales, and their line of credit can easily exceed four or five million dollars in a single weekend.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of history’s most famous bets:
According to reports, British media mogul Robert Maxwell lost $2,685,000 in three minutes after simultaneously betting on three different roulette wheels. Imagine yourself dropping $15,000 in a split second! The billionaire, who was born in the Czech Republic and previously served as a Labour MP, was spotted gambling at London’s exclusive “Les Ambassadeurs” Casino.
A South Korean businessman lost $14 million at roulette in one of London’s other famous casinos in 1993. However, it appears that the majority of high-rollers prefer to bet in Macau, Monaco, or Australia because these locations provide greater discretion than casinos in Las Vegas and London. Eighty percent of this exceptionally high-end clientele is of Asian descent.
In the same year, in London, Greek millionaire Frank Sarakakis, owner of an automobile company in Athens, is said to have lost thirteen million pounds while playing roulette. The alleged incident occurred at the well-known and preferred Crockford gambling establishment.
Fouad al-Zayat, a businessman born in Syria and known as one of London’s biggest punters, is said to have wagered hundreds of thousands of pounds on roulette in a single session. The Ritz Casino, on the other hand, decided to sue Mr. Zayat, also known as the “Fat Man,” for allegedly passing bad checks totaling $3.5 million. According to court documents, Zayat is said to have wagered more than $35 million at the Ritz Casino since 1998. In the three years between 1999 and 2001, he went to the casino 156 times and lost more than $15 million.
Ashley Revell, a 32-year-old gambler from London, decided in 2004 to sell all of his possessions, including his clothes, in order to raise enough money for a large wager. He staked his entire life savings on a single spin of the roulette wheel at the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas. At the last second, he decided to bet the entire $135,300 on the “Red” option, which paid double or nothing. When the ball finally stopped moving and landed on “7 Red,” the professional poker player was able to walk away with $270,600.