The World’s Biggest Gambling Losses in Casinos


Most individuals think of alternative ways to generate profit, especially when the economy is down. For instance, some people participate in live casino Singapore to earn significant money and support their financial needs.

However, no one can beat the house forever. Casinos constantly modify and improve their strategies to ensure they will not lose money to gamblers. Even if you consider yourself a professional gambler, you can still experience gambling losses, primarily if you base all your bets on luck.

Here are some of the seasonal and well-known gamblers who experienced the most significant casino losses in the world:

Harry Kakavas

Australian billionaire Harry Kakavas is one of the high-rolling punters who lost approximately $1.5 billion AUD in just 14 months. The real-estate salesman lost most of his money in Melbourne’s Crown Casino, believing that the bookmakers took advantage of his gambling problems.

Kakavas admitted he was diagnosed with gambling addiction as he couldn’t control himself from playing baccarat. He borrowed millions from his friends and families and stole $286,000 AUD to keep up his gambling activities.

After losing money, Kakavas sued the Crown Casino at the High Court of Australia. Still, they failed to win the case, as the judge agreed with the appeal court that Kakavas was capable of making decisions in his own interests. He also lost $164 million AUD in just six hours after staking $300,000 AUD per hand and ended up in deep debt and bankruptcy.

Terrance Watanabe

Terrance Watanabe inherited the Oriental Trading Company after his father died in 1977. He was one of the successful businessmen worldwide. However, he was more interested in playing casinos than in running his trading company. In 2000, he sold the firm to focus on his favourite games, such as baccarat and blackjack.

In 2007, Watanabe went on a year-long gambling spree at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. He placed his bet with $835 million USD and lost $127 million USD. His devastating loss streak is considered one of the enormous gambling losses in Vegas’ history.

Additionally, Watanabe had a gambling addiction and a drinking problem. Witnesses reported that he was drinking three bottles of vodka a day and used harmful substances like cocaine. He told the public that he would bet for 24 hours, staking up to $50,000 USD per hand.

Because of this claim, casinos offered Watanabe an outrageous betting limit of $17 million USD. But he still performs a devastating gambling spree, resulting in a $15 million USD gambling debt. Caesars Entertainment Corporation, the owner of Ceasars Palace, paid a $225,000 USD penalty for allowing him to gamble in an intoxicated state. Until now, he owes $15 million USD and might face a jail sentence if he fails to pay.

Maureen O’Connor

Maureen O’Connor was serving as the mayor of San Diego, CA, when she encountered her greatest gambling loss. She liquidated her savings, borrowed money from friends and family, and sold real estate to wage billions of dollars at casinos in California. Her actual net losses were $13 million USD after she spent all her money on video poker.

Charles Barkley

Sports star Charles Barkley is the most famous on this gambling list. Apart from being a basketball player, he actively participates in casino games. He gambled, lost his entire wealth of $30 million USD, and admitted losing $2.5 million USD in a single blackjack match.

For Barkley, playing at a casino is more than just winning significant money. It is more about the excitement that drives him to return for more. He believes that losses are always part of the game, and it is imperative to acknowledge defeat.

Many experts consider his competitive claims as a sign of a gambling problem. In an interview, Barkley revealed that his addiction started as he dreamed of earning $1 million USD in Vegas’ casinos. So, he went to Vegas, played different casino games, and eventually lost his real money.

Additionally, Barkley was sued by a casino for not paying $400,000 USD in loads and $40,000 USD in attorney fees. Therefore, after his trip to Vegas, he quit gambling and started rehabilitation. He has now learned when to end and how to manage his bankroll correctly.

Archie Karas

Archie Karas holds the record for the longest winning streak in gambling history. However, he is also considered one of the biggest losers.

When he arrived in Las Vegas, he had $50 USD only in his pocket. He borrowed $10,000  USD from a friend and earned money in poker, baccarat, and dice. After several wages, he won more than $40 million USD and acquired a massive winning streak in casinos.

Unfortunately, he started losing every million of his winnings in just three weeks. From being one of Las Vegas’ greatest whales, he is turned into one of the biggest losers in the gambling industry.

Umar Siddiqui

Umar Siddiqui was the former vice president of Fry Electronics. He is a well-known Pakistani-American gambler who lost $162 million USD playing casino games from 2005 to 2008. According to him, the casino treated him to VIP luxury services, including a private jet, gambling credit, and an expensive suite, making him stay and play more games.

As time passed, he eventually lost his wealth and filed for bankruptcy.

Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey is the most skilful poker player in the world, with a $100 USD net worth. However, he had some bad runs in recent years.

When playing big-money poker, punters should expect some legal implications. In Ivey’s case, the courts retook his $10 million USD winnings for edge sorting. He also lost approximately $40 million USD after the casino considered his tricks cheating.

Frank Saracakis

Frank Saracakis has experienced significant gambling losses despite being a successful businessman. In 2011, he reportedly lost €24.7 million EUR playing Roulette in a single night at the regency Casino Mont Parnes in Athens, Greece.

Sarcakis also suffered losses in Las Vegas, Macau, and Monaco. The event does not only affect his mental health but also his company’s reputation and financial standing.

How to Avoid Huge Gambling Losses?

Gambling can be an exciting and entertaining activity. However, it carries significant risks. Exercising caution and practicing responsible gambling are crucial to avoid bankruptcy and debt. Setting a budget to determine how much money you can afford to lose is also imperative.

Moreover, choosing a reliable and trustworthy online gambling site is essential to avoid money loss. Some platforms are susceptible to fraud, scams, and other cyber threats. These concerns will affect your betting experience and opportunities.

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