7 Worst Gambling Losses in History
In the last 30 years, the amount you can lose at a casino has increased dramatically. Casinos are always prepared to loan people money to get them hooked, before calling in their debt almost as soon as they leave the casino floor.
These high rollers made their fortunes in many different ways, but they were all similar in the amount of money they managed to throw away on the roulette wheel or baccarat table. Check out the list below for the 7 worst gambling losses in history:
Kerry Packer is most famous for being Australia’s richest man, and in 2000, he lost almost $20.7 million in a three-day baccarat binge in Las Vegas. At the time, this was believed to be the biggest loss in Las Vegas, but it only represents a fraction of what Packer lost over a period of about 10 months in that same year.
It’s estimated that he gambled away almost $42 million that year alone. Sources claim that baccarat is Packer’s favourite game, although he doesn’t appear to be that great a player.
These losses aren’t a deterrent to Packer, who is estimated to be worth about $5 billion. His other favorite hobby is polo, and his team, Ellerston, was recently able to acquire two new star player because of his generous financial contributions.
In Crockford’s casino in London, Frank Saracakis lost over $12 million in a year-long gambling binge in 1994. This wasn’t his first experience with huge gambling losses — in 1988, he lost an equal amount playing roulette at the Ritz.
Saracakis is the son of entrepreneur Ioannis Saracakis, who founded the automobile company Saracakis Brothers in 1922. Although the company survived the collapse of the commercial vehicle industry in the 1980s, young Frank’s gambling must have inevitably put a strain on the family’s finances. Although the company headquarters are in Athens, Frank was a frequent fixture on the international gambling circuit between 1988 and the early 1990s.
Robert Maxwell is a former media tycoon who is rumored to have lost $2.25 million in under three minutes playing three roulette wheels at the same time. That’s a loss of about $15,000 per second!
Maxwell was a British Member of Parliament who dragged himself out of poverty by establishing his own – very successful — publishing business. After he died, huge discrepancies in his company’s finances were revealed that were later attributed to him misappropriating funds for his own personal coffers. He was also revealed to have stolen millions from his own worker’s pension fund. After he died, his sons briefly tried to keep the empire together, but failed.
His legendary loss of $2.25 million on those three roulette wheels at London’s Ambassadeurs casino will go down in history as one of the world’s largest and fastest gambling losses.