Michael Melia of the Associated Press reported in July that there were some “whales” acting badly – and he wasn’t referring to Mystic Aquarium.
What’s a whale, outside of the sea mammal? Well, in casinos, whales are the lifeblood of the life of a casino – they are the High Rollers. The REAL High Rollers that casinos compete for.
I actually found a website called “Billionaire Gambler” that helps define these people with obviously have too much money for their own good. Here’s what they defined a “whale” as:
Globally, there are between 150-500 whales around the world.
– They are generally billionaire and certainly high net worth individuals.
– 80% are Asians
– All have instant credit line of $1 000 000 to $5 000 000. Their credit lines can even be extended up to $20 000 000 to $25 000 000. Just enough to have a nice weekend. (Weekend?)
– Whales gets royal treatments from big casinos. US Visa for Asian high rollers, private jet, the best hotel suites, personal chiefs, gourmet food, caviar, champagne, fine wines, free show tickets, expensive gifts, butler service, personal chauffeur, limousine rides, and whatever they want… Everything is free for the whales. Money attracts money!
– Gamble around $10 000 to $1 000 000 per bet. (Chump change for them.) No one plays at the same table as them.
– Usually accompanied by their own entourage (bodyguards, beautiful girls and close friends).
– Extremely generous. Whales plays big and tip big!
– Are publicity shy.
The next tier of High Rollers, of which there are more, include celebrities, sports & entertainment celebrities who aren’t so shy, spend less, but still enormous amounts to any of recreational gamblers standards. But whoever the whale maybe, efforts to satisfy and retain these players go much further, with casinos tolerating abuse and extending courtesies that test the integrity of the games.
However, AP reported that a dealer at Mohegan Sun reported some unusually odd and abusive idiosyncrasies:
One high roller requests a refrigerator full of bananas that he squeezes and throws as he gambles. Another urinates against a wall. Such outrageous behavior is tolerated more these days because of growing competition than when he joined the business three decades ago. Tribal casinos on tribal reservations can often bend the rules without a state commission watching due to its own Tribal Commission and its own sovereignty.
Other high-stakes players described by a pit manager at Mohegan Sun throw chairs, scream at dealers and expect rules to be bent at the tables. Shane Kaufmann, a vice president for a branch of the Transport Workers Union in Las Vegas, which represents several thousand casino dealers, said rules are frequently ignored at high-stakes tables.
Let’s differentiate between Professional Gamblers (Advantage Players or AP’s) and Whales. AP’s play with strict discipline to find and capitalize on advantage plays that lower the house edge. They also keep meticulous records concerning tax information, wins/losses. They practice their skills to perfection. And Advantage players are in it to win, as in a job.
Whales are tend to be recklessly lavishly. They are big spenders for the sport of it all, not necessarily for the making of money – they have enough of that what more trips.
All I know is the gambling is recreational for me. A whale? – the closest thing to being with a whale is at an aquarium.
That’s all for now.