These astronomical perks are just par for the course in relation to ‘duchessing’ our prime rolling ‘whales’ of the gambli-ng world who can bet approximately $300,000 a hand.
The concept of duchessing got to a head in the week when 18 Crown employees were arrested in China for organising gam-bling activities for Chinese Nationals overseas.
Sources revealed the employees are acknowledged to tempt high rollers, or whales as they are known in the industry, with seven-figure lines of credit and assist these with obtaining Australian visas to visit Australia to ga-mble.
Anna Smith*, worked as being a VIP services manager, looking after high rollers for any major c-asino. It was Smith’s job to ensure the whales were well looked after.
“My goal was to ensure they stayed make the city the location where the cas-ino was located,” she says.
“They had use of free activities, VIP tickets to shows and special attractions, a choice of private parties, and the opportunity meet and greet celebrities that nobody else could easily get near.
“The casin-o could flex its muscles and have them anything they wanted, just as long as they extended their stay and continued to ga-mble.”
The duchessing of whales has been going on for years. Within the late 1970s Brian Twomey was the marketing manager for exclusive London casi-no Crockfords.
Found in Mayfair, it was actually (and remains) the type of place where James Bond could have felt in your house, a gaming house that had been a world out of the tacky glitz of Australia’s poke-r machine dens.
“Our high rollers were induced by offers of the finest seats at Wimbledon, a race day at Ascot, or maybe a ski escape to St Moritz,” says Twomey.
Nowadays the stakes happen to be raised and c-asinos will stop at nothing to harpoon a whale and drag it returning to the baccarat on mobile. Sydney’s Star Ca-sino recently obtained a $10 million yacht for high-rollers to have the harbour with cocktails and canapes. They stay in a penthouse suite which will come having its own butler, and get driven around inside a Bentley or Rolls.
In 2005, Crown Melbourne ploughed $10 million into keeping one among its whales happy, but also in hindsight it was a profitable little earner for casin-o.
The whale, Harry Kakavas, a true-estate salesman who made his fortune flogging houses on the Gold Coast, gam-bled $1.5 billion in the little over 1 year, throwing it away $300,000 a hand in the baccarat tables, until he was in the red for more than $30 million.
Being a major whale, Kakavas was courted like a superstar. Crown flew him overseas on holidays with their private Learjet, and in many cases left him gift boxes containing $50,000 to offer him a jump start with the tables. In a single flurry, the compulsive ga-mbler lost $2.3 million in under 30 minutes.
And also in 2014 James Packer put his hand within his pocket for three luxurious Bombardier Jets for the tune of $US100 million, to ferry around his VIP Asian customers in fashion and comfort.
“They really get spoilt rotten however the flip side is that they almost single-handedly float our hospitality industry some weeks,” admits Smith.
The game of choice
It’s all a relative drop from the ocean when you consider that in 2015-16, high-rollling gambl-ers wagered around $115 billion at Crown and The Star’s VIP tables. While bl-ackjack and the roulette wheel are both popular choices with high rollers, it’s with the baccarat table the really huge money is won and inevitably lost.
Baccarat became popular in 19th century France and is still the overall game of your whales. The big numbers resulted in highest returns, with all the house needing an astronomic turnover to justify the offering.
The overall game is fairly simple: Each hand dexmpky76 2 or 3 cards, using the nearest to nine the winner. Court cards count as zero and when a sum goes past nine the value returns to zero.
So, for example, a set of cards 4 and 8 carries a price of 2 (not 12) while 6, 7 and 6 use a importance of 9 (a great score) not 19.
In 2000, the largest whale in Australia’s history, Kerry Packer lost $33 million over a three-day period, playing baccarat with the Bellagio.