10 Jaw-Dropping Stories From the World of High Roller Casino Players

Casinos have long offered lavish perks for high rollers. These include penthouse suites, gourmet meals, and VIP concerts.

Owning Mahowny is a brilliant, detailed study of a gambling addiction. It doesn’t rehash the same old gangster movie clichés, but instead focuses on the casinos and their role in Dan’s gambling obsession.

1. Charles Barkley

The NBA legend was a beast on the court and even more so at the tables. He was a high roller with bold wits and big hands.

Packer was known to roll up to Vegas in his comped limo and pump in big bucks. He was a big-time baccarat player and is believed to have won over $11 million at one casino.

2. Archie Karas

Join us on a whirlwind adventure of a lifetime that combines cultural immersion and casino excitement. From the glitz of Las Vegas to the fusion of Macau and the European grandeur of Monte Carlo, you’ll experience the thrill of high stakes gambling like never before.

Archie Karas (real name Anargyros Karabourniotis) is a legendary gambler best known for “The Run,” where he turned $50 into $40 million over a three-year streak of success that was unparalleled in history.

3. Terrance Watanabe

Terrance Watanabe inherited his father’s party favor and trinket company and turned it into a thriving mail-order business. At one point, he was the richest person in Nebraska.

Unfortunately, he also developed a gambling addiction and spent his fortune on the tables. Eyewitnesses claim that he would gamble for up to 24 hours and play three hands of blackjack at once. He was even given a special customer tier at one casino and was offered Rolling Stones tickets and gift store credit.

4. David Williams

David Walliams is a British comedian, actor and writer. He has starred in several television series including Little Britain and Come Fly With Me. He also portrayed Frankie Howerd in the comedy film Dinner for Schmucks.

He is the author of the children’s books, including Awful Auntie and There’s a Snake in My School!. He is a regular judge on the talent show competition Britain’s Got Talent.

5. Michael Jackson

Joseph pushed his sons to succeed as entertainers, making them rehearse for hours every day and even beating them with belt buckles. Jackson later formed a group with his siblings Tito, Jermaine, and Jackie that became known as the Jackson 5.

After Off the Wall, they broke with Motown and collaborated with Quincy Jones on Thriller, an album that dominated the charts. The 14-minute music video was hailed as one of the most influential ever.

6. John Lennon

From the hard-fought optimism of ‘Working Class Hero’ to the acceptance of life’s evanescence in ‘You Know How It Is’, Lennon never stopped challenging himself. He came to view obscurantist “literary” writing as dishonest.

Phillip Norman’s biography of John Lennon is one of the most thorough and revealing ever published. It covers everything about Lennon’s fascinating life. It’s an absolute must read!

7. Steve Wynn

The Mirage and Treasure Island are among Las Vegas’ most recognizable casinos, designed by Steve Wynn. He also developed the Bellagio, which featured Cirque du Soleil entertainment.

In 2018 Wynn resigned from his company, sold his stock and relinquished his gaming license after the Wall Street Journal published disturbing allegations of sexual misconduct against him. He denies the claims. He now resides in Florida.

8. Bruce Lee

After a series of street fights Bruce Lee’s quick fists got him in trouble and his parents encouraged him to hone his skills in martial arts. He developed his own system of techniques that he called Jeet Kune Do.

His smooth Jeet Kune Do athleticism was put to use in The Big Boss (Fist of Fury in the U.S.). He starred in only two films before his death.

9. Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers’ famous song “The Gambler” spawned a mini-empire including a movie series, slot machines and an appearance in a 2014 GEICO insurance commercial.

Rogers began his music career in the early 1960s, playing bass in a Houston jazz group before joining the New Christy Minstrels folk group, where he and other members later formed the First Edition, a band that mixed folk, rock and country.

10. Kenny G

The world-renowned saxophonist, Kenny Gorelick, has become synonymous with a certain type of music. It’s called smooth jazz, and it’s a genre that some people love but others despise.

Lane gently, but surely, teases out this profound idea in her film. She also tries, to an extent, to find meaning in the music itself. This is a tough feat to pull off.

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