It's hard to mention Las Vegas without immediately associating it with casinos and gambling. The two basically go hand in hand. If you've ever traveled to Sin City, you know the strip is littered with blackjack tables, slot machines, and other spots to place your bets. Unfortunately, sometimes (a lot of the time), people end up losing more than they came with (or simply breaking even). In some cases, losses can be so big that they are downright devastating. No one has more first-hand experience witnessing this than the workers in Las Vegas and other casinos around the world -- some of whom recently took to the internet to share stories about the biggest losses they have ever seen.
45. Keeping It Within Budget
I work in a well known casino in Las Vegas. It happens multiple times per week that we get high rollers in who win or lose over $1 million. The most I ever saw a person lose was about $9 million in one night. But while that may seem like an obscene amount of money to you or I, that's what he budgeted himself to gamble that trip. He came knowing he may lose $9 million. Don't get me wrong, he wasn't happy, but he didn't lose his mind, or freak out or anything like that.
44. An Educated Decision
I haven't seen it firsthand, but I talked with a pit boss in New Mexico not long ago.
He had a story about a girl who continued going back to the ATM while playing five-dollar-minimum blackjack and eventually collapsed on the table, saying she had blown a semester of tuition at Princeton.
43. Twenty In Twenty
I'm an ex-croupier from Sydney.
Dude turned over about 20 million in 20 minutes. He was just there because it was uni enrollment time for his son, so he decided to show them a fun time in the inner sanctums.
Another dude lost maybe 700k and didn't care; his bag man showed me photos of the private jet they travel in, which had a full sized queen bed in it. Pretty awesome.
I didn't really get to deal much in the inners. But if the players lose, they just kick you out and ask for a luckier dealer.
42. Betting For Bills
I was a table games dealer for a while and, honestly, the people who lose buttloads of money didn't really care. It was the regular Joes who would lose $300 in a night that would lose their mind. Their body language would change and I could tell they were there to make money and ended up losing the money they needed to pay bills. These were the hardest.
On the flip side, we would have a guy come in with bankrolls of hundreds and play for three hours win or lose. The biggest tip that guy ever gave was $30.
41. Going All In
Had a college kid bet his entire net worth on a hand of blackjack on graduation weekend with his friends watching. Money-wise it was under $15k, but it was literally every cent the kid had. Was dealt a 20 vs a 3 and I pulled a 6 card 21. The kid threw up everywhere. Not a good look.
40. QuarterK A Hand
From my dad, who's a dealer: I've seen someone bet $25,000 a hand. When they lose they just bet another $25,000. In an evening they'll lose up to a million dollars and they won't get upset. I've had someone lose $750,000 at my table and he took me out to a drink after. Typically the ones betting huge amounts of money aren't the ones getting upset, it's the ones who lose $500-$1000 that go ballistic.
39. Faulted For Filming
I met a guy who was a casino dealer. He told me about a guy who had the absolute best hand possible (can't recall which game it was, sadly) so he decided to film the hand while putting it down to document this incredible event. The pot was about $50,000 so it was a big deal (and this was in Chile). He collected his money, but then security saw him filming with his phone on the security camera tape and he had to give it back since the casino rules clearly stated that using cell phones and filming was not legal.
38. Gone From Greed
I'm an ex-croupier in the UK. This might not seem like a lot, but I'm not from a big city and I hadn't been in the job long. A student came in with £40. He won £14,000!! Then he started to lose. Instead of cutting his losses, he thought he could make it back up to 14k. The idiot lost it all. Could have wiped his student debt, could have bought a car, holiday, deposit on a house, whatever. Once you start getting greedy, you're gonna lose it all!
37. Training To Deal
Dealer in a large Nevada casino. I've seen people lose tens of thousands and continue to walk back from the ATM all day long, a smile on their face, friendly as ever. I've also seen some people lose no more than $60 on the verge of tears and talking about taking their own lives when they go home -- which we are required to report.
The other day I dealt to a guy that lost $3,000; when he was down to his last 3 blacks he said he hated me and then got up to walk away, then turned around and slammed the chips down in the betting circle and yelled "OH JUST GO AHEAD AND TAKE IT FROM ME." I got a blackjack. He threw his drink and broke glass everywhere. Security escorted him out.
One of the training videos that they show us for Nevada gaming commission includes a video of a woman hitting a slot jackpot for $10,000; when they came over with the big check she was crying, so they asked her what was wrong and she told them how she had taken a second mortgage out on her home to gamble and the jackpot didn't even put a dent in it. I have tons of stories.
But the majority of people are responsible gamers, to be honest.
36. Missing The Mark
Former dealer/floor supervisor/pit boss - I watched a prominent golfer lose $3,000,000 over a weekend playing blackjack and $100 slot machines. He was using markers, IOUs to the casino. The aftermath was one of his sponsors had to end up paying off the markers after our casino had to sue for payment.
35. Garbage Way To Deal
A guy who is a bit of a local legend in my area actually jumped up on his seat, pulled his pants down, and dropped a big ol' poop right on a video poker machine once. Guess he'd had it.
34. Closed Windows
Born and raised in Las Vegas I can answer that some of the aftermath is definitely dangerous. I have family who has worked at individual casinos for 15+ years.
Growing up here I heard stories about the Luxor being haunted from all those who have taken their own lives. Mainly why most casinos won't allow windows to open. Only real big spenders have windows that open. The worst part is news outlets won't report on these events.
33. Million Dollar Mistake
I once was dealing craps on a table where a guy won and subsequently lost over a million dollars in one afternoon. He also went a couple hundred thousand into his pocket before leaving. No aftermath to speak of.
32. Lucky Lesson
I mentioned this before: One night, I worked as a blackjack card dealer at a casino, and I watch my old high school teacher, who was inebriated and couldn't recognize me at the time, lost $5,500 in gambling. She laughed it away and left a fifty dollar tip for me.
31. An Even Jackpot
Iowa casino, had a big player come in from out of town and stay in our hotel for a week. He played lots of stuff, but for the week he was down about $750,000+. I knew he was around but hadn't seen him, even though EVERY floor person in the place was watching him like a hawk. We have a Pai Gow game that had a jackpot that was up to about $240,000. He walked up to my table and I said, as always, "Hey, man, how's it going?" He laughs and says, "Well if I win that, (points at the jackpot) I'll be almost even for tonight." I don't think I'll ever forget that.
30. Brotherly Luck
I work roulette at a casino in Puerto Vallarta. This inebriated Italian kid no older than 19 stumbles over to my station and tries to convince me the two black teens behind him are his brothers. Turns out their family took him in when he was a baby. After his boisterous attitude attracts a sizable crowd, he proceeds to dump $35,000 worth of chips on black. "My brothers give me luck," he tells me. Ended up landing on red, takes three more shots, and hits up our nightclub upstairs where I heard he blew like $10,000 more US dollars.
29. Tears To Go
Saw a guy bet $2,000 on a hand of blackjack and double down. He lost, started crying, and was never seen again.
28. From Winning To Jail
I worked security for a large casino, not in Vegas or Atlantic City. I once escorted someone to their car who had just won $2 million. Three days later we had to arrest him because he'd lost it all and assaulted someone.
27. Brushing It Off
$300k off a guy on Baccarat. He didn't care at all, just went over to another table.
26. Flipping Out
A friend of mine lost $50k over 5 hands of blackjack. He was not happy, completely certain they were cheating and tried to flip the table. Security escorted him out of the casino but he was still allowed to stay in the hotel.
25. Bills In Bands
The most I personally saw lost, working security at a higher end casino on the strip, was $60,000. Dude just takes it out of his pockets with those bands around it and starts playing baccarat. I wasn't there for these, but an unfortunate amount of people would bet every last dime they had to their name; if they won then they lived their life, if they lost, they'd take their own life either by jumping off the roof or just doing it silently in their room.
24. Regular Occurrence
Worked as a dealer a couple years ago. This regular came in (he usually played poker but sometimes he played some blackjack before going to the poker room), and sat down at my table and started to play. After fifteen minutes he might have won one or two hands and he was down $45,000. He didn't even react; barely shrugged and walked up to the poker room instead.
23. Gambling For Hope
The most I've seen someone lose wasn't in the amount of money, per se. It was the gas money home that I saw that hit these people hardest. If someone is gambling hundreds of thousands they probably have the means to at least eat and move around in a vehicle even if they lose it all. At least they have some assets. The poor folks that gambled for hope were, by far, the most shocking experiences I've ever had during the short time I spent dealing blackjack.
22. Hard 8
Not really that big, but just yesterday some random guy walked by the craps table I was playing at, dropped $200 hard-8 hit it on the first roll, and parlayed it into a $2k hard-8 without a thought. Lost it a handful of rolls later, that $20k payday would have been nice. The guy running the table said he would have let him parlay the $20k even though table max is only $5k.
21. A House Worth
I work at an online casino, specifically as chat and phone support for our VIPs. We've got all the best characters, from Kuwaiti oil barons to Big Three bank presidents.
The latter bloke is retired, but he still manages to gamble my annual salary away in a fortnight. Every fortnight.
He's lost well over 10 million while he's been with us, which is about three times the value of his actual house.
20. Oh No
I saw I guy lose a couple grand on craps.
He yelled, tried to flip the table, then punched the ground, went to throw his drink, though better of it, and just stormed out.
For about five seconds I thought I was going to see security fight him.
19. Shrugging It Off
I deal cards in Iowa so my stories aren't as impressive as some of these are but the most I've seen lost was $76,000 in thirty minutes and the guy just went "huh," shrugged, and tipped me his last $500.
18. Highs And Lows
I dealt cards for two years, I dealt high limits and $5 games. People who lost $25 a hand at the low limit table generally took it harder than the people losing thousands at high limit tables. I worked at a casino in a rough part of Philly where a gentlemen would carry $60k cash at all times and would keep buying in until he won. He also said thank you every hand he didn't win.
17. Full Hand
Saw a young guy put all the money he had, $200, on one hand of blackjack. He gets blackjack. Now he has $500. He puts all of it on the next hand. Wins again. He keeps on winning and putting everything he had on the next hand till he's playing the table max, $5,000. He builds it all the way up to $60,000. The dealer starts telling him to take the money and run. He said it didn't matter, he was just there to have fun. He ended up losing it all, and he actually didn't care.
16. Gone In A Minute
Not a dealer but worked in a casino in various jobs for a few years. The biggest I was told about by a client was that he lost $10,000 in about a minute. He seemed pretty nonplussed. That's like him though - I worked in valet at the time and he'd come in about 5 times a day, usually for under 10 minutes, and the only way you could tell whether he'd won or lost is if he told you, or by going on what he'd tip. Nothing if he lost, $5-20 if he won, up to $100 if he won a LOT.
The biggest I was told about by a staff member was a guy who wanted $300,000 cash. I think about 5 security guards escorted the cash up to the VIP room. They had to leave then though - he was in a private room which only has a very limited number of staff allowed at any given time. So I still don't know whether he won or lost...
15. Inebriated And Confused
My ex lost $10,000 in about 5 minutes of blackjack. He proceeded to drive to the nearest bar, get inebriated, get naked, throw up all over his interior, and call me crying to come pick him up. I took him home, cleaned him up, and was outside washing the car and talking on the phone. He saw me through the windows and locked me out because he thought I was calling the cops.
14. Money To Burn
Not a dealer, but my buddies and I were gambling at the $10 a hand tables at the Wynn (back when they still had them) and having a blast. A guy walks up and asks if he can sit at the one open seat, to which we say sure. He then takes out a $50k marker from the house and proceeds to lose all of it in about 25 minutes. After that, he tells us to enjoy our time in Vegas and leaves like nothing happened. The pit boss told us he was some well-known poker player, so he had the money to burn I guess.
13. Best Case Scenario
I was at the Lisboa Hotel in Macau. Somehow, we'd wandered into a private room where one guy was playing baccarat. In the entire room, it was just him playing against the house. He lost the equivalent of $350k in about 20 minutes. He just raised his eyebrows and some flunkie came over with a suitcase full of cash for him to keep playing.
12. Something To Do
I dealt baccarat in the VIP room of a casino here in Australia and the most I saw anyone consistently bet per hand is $150K. He was a young kid whose father owned an island. One night I remember he was doing really poorly and was waiting for more money to be brought over from the cage and we started chatting about what he likes to do in his spare time and what he was going to do on New Year's Eve (fishing and hanging with the kids). I also went so far as to tell him that just one of his bets would set me up for life. He didn't really care about the money; gambling - and drinking hilariously expensive drinks - was just something to do.
11. Broken Chip
I dealt high limit blackjack for a few years. Some guys had limits higher than posted, the highest limits we had were $15k for one hand, $10k per two hands, $7k per hand for three hands. There were only a few guys that had those limits and even then they didn't play table max all the time.
The single hand that sticks out to me...Guy has $10k bet, splits, and doubles down one of the split hands. Lost all three, so $30k. Got so angry he slammed his hand down and broke an orange chip ($1k). Took everything in me to keep a straight face. The guy was a butt and he deserved to lose every bet.
My friend works as a bartender at Nobu restaurant in Crown casino. One night she was asked to serve drinks in one of the private betting rooms. All of the guys are Chinese and speak practically no English. There was a misunderstanding and my friend poured water into this guy's glass instead of what that one guy was drinking, and he totally lost his mind at her. The guy next to him, who spoke English, apologized on his behalf and said, "You'll have to excuse my friend's behavior, he has just lost 4 million dollars."
9. Child's Play
I live in Denmark, and in our elementary school we had a week where the school changed to be a little society, with their own banks and currency. Small shops like a baker, a tailor, a woodshop, all kinds of fun small things... But the biggest attraction was definitely a casino! Every student had a job somewhere, and we got paid with the society's currency every day. We got like $1 worth of money for one day. But the last day, all the parents were invited, and you could go to the bank and change your money to the school's currency.
So one of the older kids (13-14 years old) bought $40 and went to the casino. And all in on reds in the roulette. And that's how a 13- or 14-year-old kid lost $40 worth of money in a school casino.
8. Racking Up Roulette Wins
I'm a dealer and I'll never forget that my first night on Roullete was the most I've ever paid out. I tap into the game and I see a MASSIVE STACK of chips on 16. Boom, 16 off the rip for like 6 different people in total. One guy got it good for like $17k. Was an eventful first night on Roullete. That game is fun to deal. Blackjack or Baccarat? Awful.
7. Texas Hold 'Em
I used to deal at a small card club in Oregon and the biggest I ever did was a single heads-up Texas Hold 'Em pot with just under $5000. It's not much in the wide world of poker, but for our town, it was a pretty big chunk of change. I think I've only heard of one or two bigger ones in town since then, but they were all multi-way P/L Omaha pots that ended up getting split.
6. Cutting To The Chase
I was a casino pit boss for 8 years. I watched people win and lose big amounts on a daily basis. The funny thing was is that I didn't care if they won or lost, as I couldn't accept tips in my position so I got paid the same regardless of how they fared. One night this guy lost a ton of money in a matter of minutes. Unable to blame himself for his stupidity, he blamed me and threatened to mess me up. He was banned from our casino but not the parking lot. Every night for 2 months he waited for me. Every night my security guards had to escort me out to my car and take one of their cars to block this butt in so he couldn't follow me. In answer to your next question, yes, I did contact the police and was told that unless he physically did something to me, there was nothing they could do. Two years ago I changed from that job to Pharmacy and couldn't possibly be happier.
5. Just Another Day
I dealt blackjack at Melbourne's Crown Casino for a couple of years. I got to meet some celebs and whatnot, but this one lady always had a massive handbag around with her and was a regular. She sat on my $100 blackjack table, which is the highest limit on the peasant floor. Chucks down $15,000 and lost it within 20 minutes. She walked away like it was another regular day. $15,000. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?
4. Splitting Aces
I worked surveillance so I didn't deal the hand. In my casino when someone was dealt two aces they could be split for two different hands. If in the unlikely event you get another ace you could split one more time. Well, this happened to a man who was playing table max at $10k. The kicker is two of his hands were double down hands because the dealer was showing a weak card, maybe a 5 or 6. So the guy ultimately had a $50,000 bet on one round of hands. The dealer dealt to a three card 21 and the man lost his $50k... Even though this man was as rich as God he was furious, to say the least.
3. Losing To Win
I was in AC a few months ago and was waiting for a spot to open up at a 1/2 no-limit hold 'em table. As I was waiting, I saw a guy lose to an old lady with quad kings to a royal flush. The pot was probably like $1000 when all was said and done. The crazy part, however, was that the guy ended up winning the "bad beat jackpot," which was over $100k. And everyone at the table got paid like two grand. So because he lost the hand rather than won, he got an extra $99,000.
2. All In Check
I have worked part-time as a table games dealer at a small casino in a smaller city for about a year- our busiest days are when people get their welfare cheques. The most I think I've ever seen anyone lose on one single hand was $5000 playing baccarat. It was one of our regulars who would come in pretty much every night and dump anywhere from $10k-$30k+, so seeing him lose $5000 wasn't really anything too surprising. When you're broke it is frustrating to see someone dumping so much money on such a regular basis, $10k would pretty much solve all my problems right now...
I've seen people get really upset about losing $50, and people laughing and having fun while losing hundreds. It's usually the people playing for smaller amounts like $5-$20 that get really upset about losing, while the people playing $100+ hands usually don't seem to care as much because the extra money won't really make too big of a difference to them. It surprises me at how many people are foolish enough to expect to leave a casino with more money then they came in with.
1. Wandering In Vegas
My mother has had a gambling problem for as long as I can remember. It got worse as I got older. After I graduated and got a job, left the house for good, she started gambling a lot. I got a call from her once at 3 AM, literally begging me to instantly wire her $1,800 so she could get a flight home from Vegas. I did so in the morning but the transfer would take 3 days. She gambled away her plane ticket and her hotel room too. I didn't even know that was possible. She was literally just walking around Vegas for those 3 days homeless, waiting for the wire transfer.