For a town that’s in the middle of a desert, Las Vegas has always shown a peculiar fondness for “whales”. In casino terms, “whales” are high rollers that spend a lot of money playing, eating, drinking, and partying in Sin City and other major gaming destinations around the world.
Most high rollers have huge bankrolls and love to risk it all, whether at the boardroom table or the gaming table.
Here we rank the best highroller casinos online, designed to suit the "whales" in online gambling.
First off, high rollers love to make big bets. They often bet more in one hand than most people make in a year. A gaming expert once defined a “whale” as a player who can bet US$100,000 on a hand of blackjack and not worry about if he won or lost.
They also play high-denomination slot machines: those that cost US$1000 or more per play, with some plays costing US$10,000.
Most players don’t carry a million dollars in cash. In order to get the cash to make such extravagant bets, the high roller will often request a line of credit from the casino.
Similar to a bank promissory note, the casino will give the high roller cash to play with, sometimes exceeding US$1 million, while the player offers stocks, bonds or other securities as collateral for the loan.
Casinos will also frequently offer complimentary incentives, called “comps” to high roller players as an encouragement to stay and play with them. Some of these comps include luxury hotel suites, reservations at the finest restaurants, VIP rooms at the hottest nightclubs, and front-row tickets to the best shows on the Strip. The longer the whale plays and the higher he bets, the better the comps he’ll receive.
Many high rollers worked hard to reach the status that they have achieved, and they recognized that effort and drive in the people that work in the hotels, casinos and restaurants that make their stay enjoyable. High rollers often give dealers, waitress and parking valets exorbitant tips. Some do this as a way of showing appreciation for the service, while others do it just to show off.
Even with all of the staff, cameras and security devices in twenty-first-century casinos, some high rollers will hire private security guards to watch over their valuables, their chips and their persons while on the gaming floor. Large men in black suits and earpieces can often be much more of a deterrent to a potential thief than video cameras, imaging software or any other technology.
The main reason that casinos love whales is that the casino owners know that the games are in their favor. The longer a player stays and plays, the more likely he is to lose. As the high roller continues to make huge bets and lose, those bets go into the casino’s coffers. A few playing sessions by the biggest whales can affect a casino’s bottom line for an entire year.
Casino owners, executives and hosts are always searching for that next high roller ready to drop a load of cash on the turn of a card. Some experts assert that there are less than five hundred “whales” in the world. For the cost of a meal, a suite or even a jet trip, the casino can land a “big one” who will lose a million or more at their tables.