If there’s one thing gamblers like to do when they get together, it’s trade stories. Anyone who’s played at a casino more than a few times is sure to have at least one story of nearly hitting a big win or hitting that win and losing it back.
And if there’s one thing that makes a losing gambler feel better, it’s a story about another player who lost more. It’s not that anyone is happy to hear someone else lost a bundle, but when you see that somebody else lost more, your own loss doesn’t feel like such a hard punch in the gut.
We’ve all likely had a session or two at a casino where we went a little more past our loss limit than we should have. There are some people, though, who have lost truly astonishing amounts of money to casinos. Some have even managed to lose sums in the millions in the span of just a few hours.
Would you like to see a few stories of truly amazing losses that will make you feel like your own are nothing but a drop in the bucket? Following are some of the craziest casino gambling losses ever recorded.
Easy Come, Easy Go
It’s hard to say which is worse: losing at the casino or winning at the casino and then losing it back. If you just lose, you’re down some money, but if you win and then lose it back, the feelings of stupidity and bad luck can be overwhelming. Which brings us to our first example. This is just a small one to get you started.
Steve Richards was a 56-year-old roofing contractor who liked a bit of sports betting to get his juices going on the weekends. He enjoyed the small ups and downs that most weekend sports bettors experience, until one day when he made no just one good pick, but twelve!
Defying odds of roughly 3,800 to 1, Steve picked the final results of 12 different rugby matches and won £38,970 on a £10 bet — only to lose most of it back. Less than a week later, Steve put up £30,000 of his winnings on a bet that Wales would come out ahead of Australia, and he lost.
Steve claimed he had no regrets about making the losing bet. £8k is, after all, still a good amount of extra cash in the pocket, but £39k certainly stretches a lot further.
(Not Quite) Winning!
Winning! The single word catchphrase was made famous by an obviously obliterated Charlie Sheen as his life and career spiralled out of control in a very public, drug-fueled breakdown in the early 2000’s.
His wild actions and incoherent, homemade rants and ramblings took the spotlight, but parts of his wild behavior also included gambling large amounts of money. During the last seasons where he appeared on “Two and a Half Men”, he was reportedly making well over $1 million per episode. When you’re making that kind of money, why not place a few bets here and there, right?
According to papers from Charlie’s divorce proceedings with Denise Richards in 2006, the star was dropping a mind-bending $200,000 per week betting on sports. Only Charlie knows exactly how long that was going on for, but if you multiply $200k per week for even a short period of time like three months, that comes out to more than $2.4 million. Who knows how much he actually lost during a time where he clearly wasn’t in the right state of mind to be gambling on anything.
You Win! No…Wait…You Lose
The story of Italian pet shop worker Bruno Venturi is a strange one. He didn’t gamble away all his earnings or win big only to lose it back. What happened to him is, perhaps, worse.
Bruno had about £20 in his account at the Eurobet online casino and decided to settle himself in and play a lottery-style game called “Sixty Seconds”. Bruno got lucky. Then Bruno kept getting lucky, and he kept winning, and winning, and winning some more. Before he knew it, his meagre £20 bankroll had grown to a whopping £700,000, all within about four hours.
As you might have guessed, Bruno was extremely happy, to massively understate it. Unfortunately, though, his euphoria didn’t last for very long. After being congratulated by the casino at first, he was then told that all of his winnings were the result of a software glitch and he wouldn’t be paid any of it.
After conducting a full investigation, the casino found that the game was only charging Bruno for one out of every six bets he made during his fantastic session. As if that wasn’t enough, they also concluded that if everything had been working properly, he actually lost about £60,000.
Bruno took Eurobet to court to try to collect his winnings, but the court ruled in favour of the casino.
Is it worse to win and lose it back, or to think you’ve won only to be told you really haven’t? I don’t think I’d want to be in either situation.
I’ll See Your Million And Raise
There are several known stories of big-time gambling whales who’ve won and lost millions at casino tables, but Harry Kakavas easily tops them all. The Australian real estate mogul is said to have lost an unfathomable $1.5 billion to casinos around the world in just 14 months of gambling adventures.
Kakavas reportedly lost $164 million to the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia in a single Baccarat session that lasted just five and a half hours playing at $300,000 per hand. He’s also well known in Las Vegas and apparently lost more than $4 million in a single day at casinos in Macau.
With more billionaires being made every year, there is a definite possibility that someone might eventually break Mr Kakavas’ record, but it’s not exactly the kind of record anyone should be actively trying to break.
Take It Seriously
It’s certainly interesting and entertaining to hear stories about people placing single bets with more money than most of us will make in the next few years but don’t take it too lightly. Let it make you feel better that your last loss wasn’t £1 million, but don’t let it make you think it’s ok to gamble with more than you can afford.
Play the games you like and have fun, but make sure you only gamble with money you can afford to lose. Set your limit and stick to it. If you’ve ever gone a little over your limit, you might want to check out our article about common signs that it’s time to leave the casino. If you find that you’re going over your limit far too often, don’t be afraid to ask for help with problem gambling.
Cheers and good luck!