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The Biggest Gambling Losses

Anyone walking into a casino, or even playing online these days, knows that there’s no guarantee you’ll walk out a winner. Gambling is more chance and luck, even with strategy or mathematical games.

You may have a winning spree or perhaps have a bout or two of terrible luck. We all have different experiences and different bankrolls. However, the key is to act responsibly.

There have been some notably tremendous gambling losses. We list a few of them below.

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Terrance Watanabe

Terrance WatanabeBlackjack and baccarat are the games of choice for Terrance Watanabe through which he made and lost a fortune. He sold his inheritance of Oriental Trading Company in 2000 after having it for 23 years. His gambling spiralled out of control. In 2007, he accumulated losses of approximately £92,900,500 after wagering £603,487,500.

He faced four felony charges and currently owes £10,972,500 after trying to sue the casinos. If he doesn’t pay the debt back, he can be imprisoned for up to 28 years.

Maureen O’Connor

Maureen O’ConnorThis video poker player suffered a loss of £9,509,500 because of her overpowering gambling compulsion. Unfortunately, Maureen O’Connor had a gambling obsession that led to her demise, gambling approximately £731,565,000. At least Maureen has no outstanding debt hanging over her head, as she has paid what she owes in full.

Maureen was a mayor of San Diego and was a hard-working woman achieving everything in her profession through hard work. Her wagering addiction got the best of her, and she borrowed £1,463,090 from her second husband to play video poker.

Harry Kakavas

Harry KakavasHarry Kakavas has no debt outstanding after incurring a total of £14,995,750 in losses. His gambling spree totalling £1,046,123,650 took place over 16 months.

After losing the money, the casino kept the amount lost to them. Harry told the High Court of Australia that the casino used his gambling addiction to their advantage.

Archie Karas

Archie KarasThe amount Archie Karas gambler broke even with the amount he lost, totalling a whopping £29,260,000. His story started with £36.58 in Las Vegas, where he won this hefty amount. Archie later borrowed £7,315,000, which got the ball rolling on his wagering journey. He rapidly tripled the amount and paid his loan back in full.

Archie’s mistake was moving from this skill-based game that he had a talent for, to riskier games like dice and baccarat. He explains his actions by saying he doesn’t fear losing money because it means nothing to him.

Charles Barkley

Charles BarkleyCharles Barkley was a self-proclaimed gambling addict who lost his entire fortune of approximately £21,945,000. His go-to games were baccarat, roulette, blackjack, and dice. He was also a player that peacefully accepted his losses as part of the process, unlike others who tried to sue for their losses.

Charles acknowledges that his mistake was expecting to win £731,500 on each trip to Las Vegas. He lost plenty in the process. Thankfully, his debt is fully paid, leaving him with a clean slate.

Michael Vick

Michael VickThis former quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles sustained £14,630,000 losses after gambling an approximately £14,630,000. He didn’t have a passion for table games but spent his money on an illegal dog-fighting ring.

His betting and involvement in this unethical type of gambling got him suspended from the National Football League. The NFL commissioner said it was not only immoral but a breach of established league guidelines.

Michael was playing for the Atlanta Falcons at the time, who took action against him. They requested a reimbursement of the bonus he received. The court agreed with the Falcons, stating he was using the money to aid the betting ring.

Through all the drama, Vick has paid his dues and is now an NFL studio analyst. It’s safe to say his gambling addiction nearly cost him everything.

Frank Saracakis

Frank Saracakis’ recreational activity of roulette, and the irresistible temptation to play the Melting Pot, had him purchasing £9,509,500 worth of chips. He was heir to a Greek automobile company and decided in 1995 to visit London’s Crockford’s Casino.

He played for a couple of hours, and eventually lost all the chips he had purchased. Luckily for Frank, he didn’t lose it all, but he did lose a noticeably large amount.

Pete McMartin

Pete McMartin’s gambling addiction was triggered when she won £18.29 playing slots back in 1994. Since that moment, the wagering amount escalated to £2,194.50 in one betting session.

She eventually lost her whole paycheck, £2,926, in one evening of playing the slot machines. It might not compare to the vast amounts the other people in this piece experienced, but it was all of Pete’s monthly earnings. This goes to show how it can happen to anyone, especially if maintaining control is a problem.

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Final Thoughts

Gambling has all the power you’re willing to give it. If you take control and play responsibly, you’ll enjoy yourself and still walk away with a smile and no added burdens. On the other hand, if you feed the addiction without being careful, it won’t be about fun anymore.

Keep a level head, set your limitations, stick to them, and enjoy your games. The individuals above are excellent examples to keep in mind when you feel like changing your game plan. One irresponsible decision can turn a bright and sunny experience into doom and gloom.

If all else fails, and you’re not able to put your foot down with yourself, seek professional help. There are coping mechanisms that can guide you to safer gambling enjoyment.

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