And you thought you were a high roller...

Casino operators call them 'whales'.  They are the leviathans of the gambling world and can drop a few million dollars in a single session without raising a sweat.  Here are a few true stories about the massive amounts some players are capable of winning or losing.


Mo Chan...you're the man! 
(Excerpts from a story in The Age newspaper, May 2001)

If you're a baccarat high roller you might want to give Sydney's Star City Casino a miss.  They recently cut their losing commission rate to high rollers and gamblers seduced into their Endeavour Room.  The casino used to offer the standard 60% payback commission for players who lost $1million or more, but now offer only 30%.   Crown in Melbourne and Jupiters in Queensland still operate at the 60 per cent rate.  

The reason for this substantial cut in high roller concessions, is the fact that they were recently cleaned up at their Baccarat tables by a whale who went on a big wining streak and took just under $10 million from the casino in less than a month, before vowing never to return after a dispute with the casino.  The casino has since been looking to recoup losses, and it looks like other high rollers will have to wear the bill.

The whale in question was identified as Mo Chan,  who according to insiders bet as much as $300,000 to $500,000 on per hand. The action has taken place in the private rooms, so no one knows exactly, but its scale has leaked to other gamblers who frequent Crown's Mahogany Room in Melbourne.

Mr Chan was invited into Star City's lavish Endeavour Room, and later one of their three VVIP" rooms within the Endeavour Room when his propensity to bet was displayed.  It was here that his amazing winning streak took place, until he arrived one day to continue play and found that the casino had changed the rules of play.   According to insiders, the casino cut its margin of loss on his bets. No matter how big the individual bets, the gap between the bank and the player - the casino's margin for loss - had been fixed for Mr Chan's play at $150,000. Suddenly the casino was only prepared to lose $100,000 a play.

It was then that the outraged Chinese-born player stormed out of the casino, vowing never to return, and took his custom to the equally lavish Mahogany Room of Melbourne's Crown Casino.

"I couldn't understand it," said one insider. "If he had $10 million of my money and was playing a game of pure luck I would want him to stay so that I could get it back."

So, thanks to Mr Chan's incredible streak, and Star City Management's stupidity, high rollers will be inclined now to give this casino a miss when it comes to playing Baccarat.


Kerry Packer...the whales' whale 
(Excerpts from a story in USAToday, April 2002)

During one of his famous gambling binges in Las Vegas, Australian media mogul Kerry Packer, lost $20 million at the Bellagio Vegas in the Summer of 2001.

Rumour also has it that Mr Packers appetite for a bet still wasn't fully satisfied.  During a discussion with a fellow high roller from Texas, Packer was overheard enquiring as to the Texan's net worth.  When the Texan smugly replied "$60 million son", Packer politely asked him if he would like to wager on the toss of a coin for that exact amount.  Needless to say the Texan declined the bet after picking his jaw up from off the floor.



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