las vegas casino

There’s a special term for people who gamble away so much money that they can shake up the industry. We call them more than high-rollers, these are the whales. A casino can earn 80% of its yearly profits exclusively from whales, but whales only make up 20% of customers. If you’d like to learn more about slots casinos you can over at SlotsMummy.

Whales don’t move with the masses-casinos give them the highest VIP treatment possible enticing them with the best suites, private gaming areas, private jet transfers and more.

To become a whale, you’ll need to possess a deep love for gambling anywhere but slot machines, be ready to lose all of it as quickly as you earned it and have at least a few disposable millions. Unfortunately, the high-roller life doesn’t usually last long. Some of the whales listed here have had spells when they lost up to 200 million dollars or more.

– Zhenli Ye Gon

Zhenli Ye Gon is a Chinese-Mexican businessman who had ties with the meth trade in Mexico. He lost 125 million dollars from 2004 to 2007 mainly at the Las Vegas Sands Casino.

Investigations into Zhenli began in 2007 when a court case was opened to establish whether the businessman’s gambling funds were actually obtained from his drug empire. The Las Vegas Sands Casino was summoned by a panel of judges to explain why they hadn’t reported the massive bets Zhenli was making, as gambling regulations state they should. He ended up getting arrested in connection with the meth trafficking business and the court case came to an end 9 years later. Zhenli was extradited from the US back to Mexico.



– Kerry Packer

Packer is an Australian business mogul who was the world’s biggest gambler for the longest time in the early 90s. He won more than 33 million dollars in one seating at MGM Grand while one time he won $20 million at blackjack in under 40 minutes. One of his most famous losses involved a London Casino where he lost 30 million dollars across 4 roulette tables.

Earlier we mentioned that whales like Packer have the power to shake up a casino’s financial year. This one did just that. Packer is partly blamed for the closing down of Aspinalls Club in London in 1990 because a week earlier he’d won 600,000 dollars there.

– Charles Barkley

This former NBA player loved to gamble. Charles Barkley think she’s lost almost 30 million dollars playing blackjack over the years. It got so bad that he had to cool down and escape the tables for a while. Whenever he went to a casino, he said he’d place his target as a million dollar win and nothing short. Even after making it to a half a million win, he’d keep going.

– Don Johnson

At least not all whales have a bad ending and Don Johnson is proof of that. Don won 15 million dollars collectively from Borgata in Vegas, The Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City and Caesars casinos.

Johnson used a very smart technique to ensure he stays winning. His game of choice was Blackjack. This whale noticed there was a massive downturn in casino revenues back in late 2010. This crisis made casinos desperate to turn a profit so they used to lure as many high rollers as possible to their premises.


Johnson took advantage of this time by negotiating special perks for himself from casinos. He had to guarantee that he’d spend 1 million dollars a session and in return be allowed a 100,000-dollar bet per hand. He was also given a 20% reimbursement fee on his losses and was allowed to split up to four hands at a time. The dealer was required to deal the cards from a hand-shuffled six-deck shoe and also stick on 17. Johnson believed that this lowered the house edge in the game to a fourth of a percent.

– Terrance Watanabe

This whale is an American business man estimated to have lost over 220 million dollars. In 2007, he lost 120 million dollars in Vegas. Unlike other whales, this one spent hours playing slot games, roulette tables and keno.

Caesars Palace sued Watanabe for 14.75 million dollars’ worth of bad checks he’d written at their establishment. In turn Watanabe blamed Caesars Palace for his losses stating that the casino was drugging him with prescription drugs, alcohol, etc. to ensure he’d keep gambling for as long as possible. Both parties later settled out of court.

Can you match up to these whales? You’d be sitting at a table with one of the most professional gamblers. They just don’t throw money here and there, they take a hard-long calculated look at the game before making their decisions. Since gambling is ultimately up to luck, that’s who determines who wins.