If you have ever wondered what it is like to be a high roller, a casino whale who bets huge amounts of money and enjoys the most luxurious perks and benefits, this article is for you. We will explore some of the most fascinating stories of the world’s most famous casino high rollers, who have made headlines with their wins and losses, their lifestyles, and their scandals.

What is a casino whale?

A casino whale is a term used to describe a gambler who consistently wagers large amounts of money, usually in the range of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per bet. Casino whales are also known as high rollers, cheetahs, or VIP players. They are the most valued customers of the casinos, who often compete to attract them with lavish comps, such as free private jet transfers, limousine use, penthouse suites, personal hosts, exclusive tables, credit lines, and rebates.

Casino whales are not necessarily rich by birth or profession. Some of them are self-made entrepreneurs, others are professional gamblers who use sophisticated strategies and systems to beat the odds, and some are even criminals or fraudsters who use illicit funds to fuel their gambling addiction. Regardless of their background, casino whales have one thing in common: they love the thrill of gambling big and living large.

Some of the most famous casino whales in history

There are many stories of casino whales who have made an impact on the gambling world with their extraordinary feats and exploits. Here are some of the most notable ones:

– Don Johnson: The blackjack whale who didn’t need card counting to beat the dealer. He won $15 million from multiple Atlantic City casinos in 2011 by using his knowledge of probability and negotiating favorable rules with the casinos, such as a 20% rebate on his losses.

– Zhenli Ye Gon: The drug trafficker who was just “minding his own business”. He lost over $120 million at Las Vegas casinos between 2004 and 2007, mostly playing baccarat. He was later arrested for running a methamphetamine lab in Mexico and had $207 million in cash seized from his mansion.

– Bill Benter: The mathematical genius who cracked the horse racing code. He developed a computer software that could predict the outcome of horse races with remarkable accuracy. He made over $1 billion from betting on Hong Kong races over two decades, becoming one of the most successful gamblers ever.

– Sultan of Brunei: The hedonistic monarch who doesn’t know any limits. He is one of the richest people in the world, with an estimated net worth of $20 billion. He is known for his extravagant spending habits, including gambling millions of dollars at casinos around the world, especially in London.

– Akio Kashiwagi: The gambler who took Trump for £9m. He was a Japanese real estate tycoon who loved to play baccarat with huge stakes. He once won £9 million from Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City in 1990, but later lost it all back and more. He was found murdered in his home in 1992, with over 150 stab wounds.

– Phil Ivey: The big poker whale who had an even bigger poker career. He is widely regarded as one of the best poker players of all time, having won 10 World Series of Poker bracelets and over $30 million in tournament earnings. He is also a notorious high roller who has played in some of the biggest cash games and private games in the world, winning and losing millions of dollars.

– Terrance Watanabe: The man who had one of the biggest losing streaks ever. He was a businessman who inherited a fortune from his father’s party supply company. He became addicted to gambling and lost over $200 million at Las Vegas casinos in 2007, mostly playing blackjack and slots. He later sued the casinos for allegedly exploiting his gambling problem and providing him with alcohol and drugs.

The pros and cons of being a casino whale

Being a casino whale may seem like a dream come true for many gamblers, but it also comes with some drawbacks and risks. Here are some of the pros and cons of being a casino whale:


– You get to enjoy the best service and treatment from the casinos, including free flights, hotels, meals, entertainment, gifts and more.

– You get to play at your own pace and with your own rules, without having to worry about table limits or other restrictions.

– You get to experience the adrenaline rush and excitement of gambling big and winning big (or losing big).

– You get to socialize with other high rollers and celebrities who share your passion for gambling.


– You expose yourself to a higher risk of losing money and going broke, especially if you don’t have a solid bankroll management and a gambling strategy.

– You may develop a gambling addiction or a gambling problem, which can affect your mental and physical health, your relationships, your career and your reputation.

– You may attract unwanted attention from the authorities, the media, the criminals or the casinos themselves, who may try to exploit you, cheat you, blackmail you or harm you.

– You may lose sight of the value of money and the reality of life, becoming detached from your family, friends and society.

How to become a casino whale

If you are still interested in becoming a casino whale, here are some tips and advice on how to do it:

– Have a large and stable source of income that can support your gambling lifestyle. This can be from your business, your profession, your inheritance or your investments.

– Choose a casino that offers the best high roller benefits and perks, such as generous comps, credit lines, rebates and VIP programs. Do some research and compare different casinos before you decide where to play.

– Learn the rules and strategies of the games you want to play, especially the ones that have a low house edge and a high skill factor, such as blackjack, baccarat, poker and sports betting. Practice your skills online or with friends before you hit the casino floor.

– Set a budget and a limit for your gambling sessions, and stick to them. Know when to quit and walk away, whether you are winning or losing. Don’t chase your losses or get greedy with your wins.

– Be respectful and courteous to the casino staff, the dealers, the hosts and the other players. Tip generously and don’t cause any trouble. Remember that you are a guest at the casino, not the owner.

– Have fun and enjoy yourself, but don’t let gambling take over your life. Balance your gambling activities with other hobbies and interests, such as traveling, sports, arts or charity. Keep in touch with your family and friends, and seek help if you feel that you have a gambling problem.


Being a casino whale is not for everyone. It requires a lot of money, skill, luck and discipline to gamble big and live large. It also comes with some benefits and drawbacks that you should be aware of before you embark on this journey. If you think you have what it takes to be a casino whale, then go ahead and try it out. But remember to gamble responsibly and have fun!

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