Biggest Casino Fails in History: Gamblers or Casinos Burn More?

  • Learn about the biggest casino fails in history
  • See how Trump was involved in shattering casinos in Atlantic City
  • Biggest high-roller losses teach gamblers to think ahead
biggest casino fails

We all know the saying, the house always wins. While this may be true for the most part, sometimes casinos suffer huge losses. This, of course, will not take away the fact that gamblers are the ones at bigger risks. In this article we look through all the biggest casino fails made by both players and the casinos themselves. Should you gamble, make sure you protect yourself from losing too much by setting limits and budgets to successfully beat the house! 

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The biggest casino fails happen when major money mismanagement pops up. In the case of both gamblers and casinos, some stories keep us on our feet not to make the same mistakes. While the rise of online casinos massively changed the gambling industry, we recommend keeping such stories in mind before trying out your luck on online gambling sites in the US. Money management and a smart plan are necessary, with, of course, the right online casino. Ignition Casino is a top pick in the US, with a number of games to try out without going bankrupt. 

All the reasons for the biggest casino fails 

Can casinos go bankrupt? The answer is yes, more easily than we sometimes think. For obvious reasons, the past year was not an easy one for brick mortar casinos. Just like any other business, casinos also suffer when there is an ongoing economic crisis or difficulty. With the global pandemic, many land-based casinos had to shut their doors and suffered major losses. Sadly the situation creates a lot of people going unemployed. Also, the decrease in gambling also represents hundreds of people at job loss. During this difficult time, most gambling activities turned to online gambling even more so. Casinos with an online presence manage to keep their heads above water, but the situation is not easy. Of course, the global pandemic is quite a special case. When we live in normal times, casinos still go bankrupt. 

The biggest casino fails mostly happen due to mismanagement and insufficient payments. The insufficient number of payments lead to a reduction in the money inflow. Yet costumers who manage to win jackpots will need to be paid. Since gambling activities have always been popular, we can’t explain the limited money inflow with a general loss of interest. In fact, the online gambling world is thriving, with more and more online casinos in the US becoming successful. Legislations are key when it comes to how long can casinos survive. Gambling laws are ever so changing in the case of the United States. In a previous article, we discussed gambling law changes in 2021. Without creating a big enough revenue, casinos are not able to support maintenance costs in the long run. Casinos employ large amounts of people and the technology and venue they use have to be top-notch. 

biggest casino fails
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The downfall of Atlantic City 

Taking a look at the East Coast gambling mecca, the shuttering casinos in Atlantic City are great – or in fact, not so great example for the biggest casino fails.  In recent years, four major casinos had to close down in Atlantic City. The famous Trump Taj Mahal, operating between 1990 and 2016, reportedly struggled from the day it opened its doors. The massive resort featured 2,010 rooms, multiple restaurants, and of course, thousands of square feet of gaming space. Trump couldn’t afford his $900 million per year payments. While it was the highest-grossing casino in Atlantic City until 2003, it eventually filed for bankruptcy in 2014 until billionaire Carl Ichan took over, keeping Trump’s namesake (Source: Curbed). 

Similarly, Trump Plaza (1984-2014) was the biggest casino in the city, yet Trump had led it to bankruptcy making it one of the biggest casino fails. Trump assembled his casino empire by borrowing money at such high-interest rates, that the businesses had almost no chance to succeed. According to the New York Times, his casino companies made four trips to the bankruptcy court. Each time, persuading bondholders to accept less money rather than be wiped out. But the companies repeatedly added more expensive debt and returned to the court for protection from lenders. He never was able to draw in enough gamblers to support all of the borrowings. During a decade when other casinos here thrived, Trump’s lagged, posting huge losses year after year. Stock and bondholders lost more than $1.5 billion (Source: The New York Times). 

What about gamblers rushing into the biggest casino fails? 

The worst casino losses always happen when players don’t know when to stop. Of course, with games like poker or blackjack unskilled costumers can easily face a major loss. We advise making sure you know your game well enough when playing on online poker sites in the US as well as setting a budget. However, some of the biggest casino fails we know of, come from games mostly relying on o luck rather than skills. Roulette and Baccarat are high-rollers favourite game. But the price you have to pay when loosing is high. Blackjack is also a reappearing game in major losses.

Blackjack, however, requires skill and strategy in order to use the relatively small house-edge well. These games are available on Ignition Casino, with the advantage that you can use Online casino promotions in the US when starting out a new game. Instead of starting out with big money, practice and learning can help you not to end up like some of the biggest losers in these games. Let’s take a look! 

biggest casino fails
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The most unfortunate stories 

Wayne Rooney used to play for Manchester United. He was also the one to set the record for the most goals scored by any player for the English national team. Unfortunately, he lost £500,000 in the course of just 2 hours betting on roulette and blackjack at a Manchester Casino. In the list of biggest casino fails, we should mention Kerry Packer, one of Australia’s richest men. The media tycoon was renowned for placing enormous wagers and blew approximately 42 million AUD or 28.5 million USD in under a year. 

Terry Watanabe is an American businessman who reportedly placed over $800million in 2007 at the Win and Caesar Palace casinos in Las Vegas. He piled up losses of over $125 million and went on to sue the casinos for plying him with alcohol and allowing him to play while intoxicated. So far as famous gamblers who lost it all go, Watanabe’s losing streak is believed to be the biggest Las Vegas has ever seen. He tried suing the casinos, but ultimately lost and was ordered to pay off his debt. 

Probably with the biggest reputation, we have Harry Kakavas, the Australian real estate mogul who blew around 1.5 Billion AUD or 1.02 Billion USD in a number of casinos over the course of 14 months. One of his most famous debacles happened when he wagered 164 million AUD or 112 million USD over the course of 5 1/2 hours – sometimes playing as much as $300,000 per hand!

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