Whale gambling refers to the practice of high-stakes gambling, typically involving large sums of money. Unlike traditional gambling, which is often done for entertainment or as a hobby, whale gambling is often associated with those who have significant wealth and are willing to gamble huge amounts of money for the potential of even larger payouts. On this page we’ll show you what whale gambling is, who some notable whales are – and how it impacts land-based and online real money casinos.
Whale Gambling: An Introduction
High roller gambling has, for a long time, been an attractive pursuit for those with large amounts of money, willing to risk it all for huge wins. Some whales are in it purely for the money, while others enjoy the prestige that comes along with it. To kick things off, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the key whale players – and later, we’ll look at some of the pros and cons of being a whale.
Whale Play Gambling: The Players
Throughout the years there have been a number of serious whales. While the origin of the whale casino terms remains up for debate, there’s no denying that there’s been some pretty serious gamblers who picked up the accolade – and below, we’re going to be taking a look at five of the most notable whales to have ever lived.
Australian media billionaire Kerry Packer was well-known for his passion for high-stakes gambling, especially in London and Las Vegas casinos. In one gambling session, he was said to have both lost and won millions of dollars. Packer was also well-known for his excessive gambling behaviors, which included traveling to Las Vegas on his own private plane and residing in the most expensive suites.
He was regarded as one of the most well-known high rollers worldwide, and the media frequently wrote about his gambling exploits. He was known for being a clever and cunning player in addition to playing for huge amounts of money. Particularly well-known for his passion for horse racing, he owned several successful racehorses throughout the course of his lifetime.
A well-known baccarat player who frequented the casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, Akio Kashiwagi was a Japanese businessman. He allegedly wagered up to $100,000 per hand and lost up to $10 million in a single gambling session. Because of his reputation for playing high stakes games, some casinos changed their rules and tables just for him.
Kashiwagi was renowned for his meticulous and controlled approach to gambling, maintaining composure at all times and never letting his feelings get the better of him. Nevertheless, despite his fame, Kashiwagi had a tragic end when he was killed in 1992; his murder is still unexplained.
Greek-American gambler Archie Karas is renowned for his remarkable winning streak in the 1990s, when he used high-stakes gambling to transform a $50 loan into more than $40 million. Karas was renowned for his proficiency at numerous games, such as poker, craps, and baccarat, as well as for his readiness to place huge bets. His winning streak was so extraordinary that it quickly rose to the status of a gambling legend.
Along with his humility and compassion, Karas was renowned for frequently supporting people in need. He was seen as one of the “good guys” as he gave away a lot of money to charity – including those that helped children who grew up in foster care.
American businessman Terry Watanabe was well-known for his excessive gambling habits, which included betting as much as $5 million per day at Las Vegas casinos. He was also renowned for his generosity, frequently leaving substantial tips for the employees at the casino.
After losing $127 million in 2007, Watanabe’s gambling habits finally caught up with him. He then accused the casino of encouraging his addiction and pressing him to keep gambling. Later, he sued the casino, and the case was ultimately resolved outside of court. Despite his early success, Watanbe’s later failures serve as a reminder that anyone is prone to problem gambling.
Paul Phua is a Chinese businessman who is well-known for playing baccarat and poker at high stakes. He is also renowned as a generous philanthropist. While playing high-stakes baccarat and poker in casinos around the world, Phua, who is regarded as one of the best gamblers in the world, is believed to have earned and lost tens of millions of dollars.
He is known to be a cunning and analytical player who is constantly one step ahead of opponents. He was detained in Las Vegas in 2014 on suspicion of engaging in illegal sports betting, but the charges were ultimately dropped. Phua’s gambling career is still flourishing, and he is still regarded as one of the top high rollers in the world despite the legal issues he faced almost a decade ago. Some other notable high roller gambling names can be seen below.
|Edward Davis||Gambling huge amounts of money until he was 85 years old.|
|Larry Flynt||Spending up to $50,000 per bet.|
|Kamel Nazif||Reacted very violently when he lost.|
|Ramon DeSage||Lost $75 million during his life.|
|Zhengli Ye Gong||Reportedly supplied the Mexican cartels with drug-making chemicals.|
|Charles Barkley||Part of the infamous MIT Blackjack team.|
High-Stakes Games and Venues
Whale gamblers generally play different games at different locations when compared to regular gamblers. Some of their preferred games include baccarat, poker and online craps for real money. These games offer more favorable odds compared to conventional casino table games like Roulette and Blackjack, and table limits are often much larger, too.
With Baccarat, for example, the minimum bets for whale gamblers can reach $50,000 or more, and they are often located in special, private rooms where the whale is the only player at the table.
In addition to the games themselves, the locations where they are played also contribute to attracting high rollers. Private clubs and upscale casinos are some of the most popular venues for high-stakes gambling. To attract – and retain – high rollers, these venues provide upscale VIP services including private jet transport, luxury suites, and personal concierges.
In addition to conventional casinos, high-stakes gambling is sometimes also permitted in exclusive clubs and upscale dining establishments, and some high-stakes poker games have even been played on luxury super yachts and private planes. It is also not uncommon to find high-stakes poker games at the best online poker sites in the US.
The Impact of Whale Gamblers
High rollers are known to contribute a sizable amount of money to casinos – and that’s one of the reasons why land-based casinos treat whales so well. The gambling industry significantly depends on these high rollers, and they rely on them losing lots of money in the long-run. In reality, high rollers are thought to account for less than 1% of all gamblers but some experts believe they produce more than 20% of all gambling revenue.
High rollers are actively marketed to by the gambling industry, who use promotions and tailored advertising to draw them to their venues. Casinos and other gaming establishments frequently have specialized teams that concentrate on attracting and retaining high rollers. These teams often have access to huge marketing budgets – and they make use of this cash to provide perks like free excursions, dinners, and beverages, as well as other incentives, in order to draw high rollers to their venues.
Casinos do take on a degree of risk, however, when dealing with whales. Because of their high reliance on high rollers, casinos – especially smaller ones – can be more susceptible to economic problems, as whales are less likely to gamble during recessions. There is also growing criticism about the way casinos target high-rollers – with some accusing them of deliberately targeting those with gambling addictions, convincing them to spend as much money as possible.
What Are the Risks and Rewards?
Like all forms of gambling, whale gambling has its share of rewards and risks. The benefits of high-stakes gaming can be enormous – if luck is on the whale’s side. High rollers have a chance to win huge amounts of money, and, due to the amount of money they’re staking, they’re often given preferential rules at the table.
However, high-stakes gaming can also carry considerable risks. High rollers risk losing a lot of money quickly, and hundreds of whales have gone bankrupt over the years as a result of their gambling habits.
In addition, high rollers often feel socially isolated because their gambling habits can make them forget about their friends and family and cause them to distance themselves from those that they love.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whale gambling is big business – and many land-based casinos (and the best high-roller online casinos) rely on whales to generate significant revenue. On this page, we’ve given you an introduction to what whale gambling is; below, we’re going to answer a few commonly asked questions.
Can whales gamble online?
Yes! Almost all online casinos accept whale gamblers, and there are some sites that are specifically offer VIP promos for high-rollers. For example, the Golden Nugget online casino in New Jersey welcomes whales with open arms. However, online casinos still come with the same or similar risks as land-based casinos
What is whale gambling?
Whale gambling is the practice of high-stakes gambling, typically involving large sums of money. Unlike traditional gambling, which is often done for entertainment or as a hobby, whale gambling is often associated with those who have significant wealth and are willing to risk large amounts of money for the potential of even larger payouts.
What games do whales play?
While each whale has his or her own preferred game, there are several popular high-roller games that stand out. These include baccarat, poker, and craps.
Who are some well-known whales?
Throughout the years there have been several well-known whale gamblers. Some notable names include Charles Barkley, Zhengli Ye Gong, Terry Watanabe, Ramon DeSage, and Archie Karas.
How do whales impact the gambling industry?
Whale gambling plays a significant role in the gambling industry, as the high rollers are known to generate a significant portion of the revenue for casinos and other gambling venues. The gambling industry heavily relies on these high rollers, and it uses exclusive VIP treatment and targeted marketing to attract and retain them.