Day: August 11, 2020

How The Biggest Gamblers Became Rich

Casino culture has a term for non-professional big-time gamblers who spend shocking amounts of money at the tables. These are known as high rollers or whales. These fabulously wealthy players are some of the biggest gamblers in the world but whose fortunes were made with different kinds of wagers.

For these kinds of gamblers, casinos will bend over backward to welcome them in, offering them VIP exclusivity and instant, million-dollar credit lines. You’ll usually find whales around a blackjack, baccarat, or poker table, a roulette wheel, or even a craps table. These games tend to offer a lower house edge, which is why you’ll hardly ever see one near a slot machine.

But these high rollers didn’t make their millions (or billions) inside of a casino or even gambling online. Let’s look at a few of the biggest (and most fearless) gamblers out there that brought their fortunes to the gaming tables.

Akio Kashiwagi

With a reported income of a hundred million dollars a year and a billion dollars in assets, Akio Kashiwagi was a Japanese real estate investor who made a name for himself both in the global real estate market and with his astronomical bets in Atlantic City and Las Vegas.

Akio Kashiwagi was one of the biggest gamblers of the last few decades, even having a character based on him in the movie Casino (K.K. Ichikawa played by Nobu Matsuhisa). His favorite game was baccarat, sometimes betting more than $100,000 on a single hand.

Terrance Watanabe

terrance watanabe

Some high-rolling gamblers didn’t make their money at all. Some of them inherited it. Let’s take a look at Terrance Watanabe, an American businessman who acquired his father’s company, the Oriental Trading Company, in 1977.

In 2000, Watanabe sold his entire share of the company to a private firm and resigned as president and CEO. He had made millions in his family business and planned to enjoy it. He was known for living a lavish lifestyle and wagering millions on bets at the casino.

On one of his most notorious gambling excursions, Watanabe reportedly lost $127 million in 2009 alone, securing him the record for the biggest losing streak in Las Vegas history. Currently entangled in a lawsuit with Harrah’s over $14 million, Watanabe claims the casino kept him overly intoxicated with booze and pills to keep him gambling (and losing millions).

Fouad al-Zayat

A super-secretive, Syrian businessman, Fouad al-Zayat was the founder of many companies, including Mortimer Off-Shore Services Ltd. His wealth sprang from the oil industry in the Middle East and he used it to diversify into many organizations.

Fouad al-Zayat was a high-roller in London’s Mayfair club, Aspinall’s, wagering £91.5 million and losing £23.2 million ($37.5 million) over a 12 year period. He was ordered to pay £2 million to the casino but somehow won his appeal and escaped prosecution, claiming the credit line he received was unlawful under the Gaming Act.

Kerry Packer

kerry packer

Perhaps the biggest whale of them all, Kerry Packer was an Australian media tycoon, considered by many to be one of Australia’s most powerful media proprietors of the last century.

Packer’s father’s media company (the Packer Empire) owned a controlling interest in both the Australian Consolidated Press and the Nine Network, both of which were later consolidated into Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL). Also known outside Australia for founding World Series Cricket, at the time of his death in 2005, Kerry Packer had a net worth of roughly $6.5 billion.

Playing big and losing big were part of Packer’s business life and personal life. In his free time, he routinely gambled in both Vegas and the UK, placing astronomical bets of hundreds of thousands of dollars on one hand of blackjack. He would also reportedly leave casino waitresses 7-figure tips when his luck was good.

In 1999, his luck turned bad and Packer went on a 3-week losing streak, losing approximately $27 million in bets spread across four roulette tables. Packer still holds the record for the biggest reported gambling loss in British history.

Play big, lose bigger

Yes, people have won some very large jackpots playing at an online casino, but those winnings pale in comparison to the wealth of the biggest gamblers. These are very rare people, usually only making the news when they lose big. These prominent gamblers are both a blessing and a curse for casinos, bringing in massive amounts of money, but usually dogged by lawsuits and scandals.

The biggest whales are also the highest risk-takers, not afraid to lose millions on a roll of the dice or a hand of cards. With a keen intuition that brought them massive success in the business world, it’s not hard to see how that savvy would translate to the gaming table too.

The post How The Biggest Gamblers Became Rich appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Allow Bryan Cranston to show you his hats in this mildly unhinged Jimmy Fallon song

Allow Bryan Cranston to show you his hats in this mildly unhinged Jimmy Fallon song

Bryan Cranston. Is a man. Of many hats.

Sure, we all know the Heisenberg pork pie chapeau (and it makes an appearance here). But before this mildly unhinged Fallon segment who knew Cranston could rock a sailor’s cap, a little red bonnet, or a sweeping fuchsia fascinator while on the toilet with such dead-eyed, menacing panache? Truly, he has the range, and I am just crazed enough after months in my house that it feels like the funniest thing I’ve seen all week.

I desperately want to have been in the Zoom pitch meeting where some exhausted writer went “He wore that hat in Breaking Bad, right? Can we write a weird banger and just stick him and Jimmy in a bunch of random crap from the hat closet then cut it together like a TikTok ripoff?” Read more…

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Singapore’s trade finance startup Incomlend raises $20M led by Sequoia Capital India

Incomlend, a Singapore-headquartered startup that operates a trading platform to connect exporters and importers with investors, has raised $20 million in a new financing round, it said on Tuesday.

Sequoia India, the India and SEA investment arm of the storied U.S. headquartered venture firm, led the Series A round in four-year-old Incomlend. The CMA CGM Group, one of the world’s largest shipping and logistics firms, also participated in the round.

Incomlend’s invoice trading platform is solving three pain points. Exporters typically get paid weeks or months after shipping goods and lack working capital to move to service other orders until they have received the due. Incomlend says its platform employs AI-powered underwriting technology to enable exporters to receive early payment.

Similarly, the startup says importers on its platform are able to minimize the risk of supply chain disruption and set more favorable payment terms. And investors have found a new alternative asset class to invest in through Incomlend that offers returns in shorter durations.

These roadblocks have prompted traditional banks to pull back from financing such deals, creating a cash crunch among cross-border trading firms worldwide. “This has led to a $1.5 trillion trade finance gap, hitting mid-cap companies hard. This gap has worsened with Covid-19,” the startup said, citing its own research.

“The impact is acute in high-growth Asia where SMEs — which account for more than 95% of all businesses and provide two out of three private-sector jobs in the region — need more financing options to meet their growing demand. Further, low-interest rates in Asia — and negative rates in Europe — are prompting many global investors to seek alternative asset classes,” the startup said.

Morgan Terigi, co-founder and chief executive of Incomlend, said the startup’s trading platform is able to onboard clients and process deals in a more timely fashion with higher flexibility. Incomlend has facilitated over $330 million in financing and covered invoice finance trades across 50 countries to date.

“The massive trade finance gap, combined with declining global interest rates and the high credit quality of Incomlend’s customers, has helped them create a compelling business that helps solve one of the most important challenges faced by global SMEs,” said Abheek Anand, Managing Director at Sequoia Capital India, in a statement.

Terigi said the startup will deploy the fresh capital to expand into Europe, Southeast Asia, and North Asia and bulk up its technology stack.