Kerry Packer was an Australian business mogul, famous not only for hunting deals, but for his love of gambling. Not only did he love it, he was one of the biggest whales the gambling world had ever seen. Kerry was known to win huge, and he would lose huge, too. We ‘re talking about losses that are going up to millions. His favorite game was blackjack.
Packer began gambling in the 80s. In 1987, he lost $19 million in a night at the Ritz. This was just 2 months after selling Nine. Packer was dubbed the Prince of Whales due to his exploits in London and Vegas casinos in the 80s and 90s. He was regarded as one of the biggest gamblers in the world.
In the famous loss of 19 million dollars at the Ritz in 1987, Parker played blackjack. Eyewitnesses say he played two tables at once that night, moving from one to the next to place his bets. He played all seven hands at each table, betting $24,000 per hand. He kept signing casino house checks asking for more chips up to $473,000 a time. After a while, he got tired of signing his name, choosing to hand over a £ 1 million check instead.
In London, there were only 3 or 4 casinos that could handle Packer at a time due to the large amounts he demanded to bet in. It could go one of either way for a casino. If the whale lost, a dull financial year could be completely transformed or if he won, he could hijack their entire profits. As funny as that sounds, it could also be very dangerous.
This can be quite the ego boost for anyone in such a position. If you thought that gave you an ego boost, then see this. Every time Packer was on his way to a casino, the casino would request that he alert them when he is 30 minutes away so that they could get things ready for him. The casinos would have a red carpet waiting for him. He’d arrive accompanied by a party of 7 or 8, although he was always at the tables alone. As he walked the floor, staff would communicate over a channel alerting each other ‘He’s in.’
Casinos in Vegas also have their own share of stories about Packer. There’s that time at the Hilton when Packer won $7 million in one night playing blackjack. He left Hilton laughing that day, but the next year the hotel recovered this money when Packer lost $10 million in a two-day session. In 1995, he won $20 million at the MGM Grand. What started off as playing eight hands at $250,000 per hand, got to $25 million within 40 minutes. He left the casino that night with a $1 million tip for the dealers.