The Lifestyle of a High Roller
Some people have a little money; some people have a lot. But how much money do you need to be a “high roller” at the casino? The definition changes depending on where you go. In Las Vegas, you might see bet limits as high as $300,000. In Macau, that can go up to $500,000. Suffice to say you’ll need a lot of money if you want to be a high roller.
Casinos will go out of their way to accommodate high rollers. They’ll chase after these customers with amazing comps, flying them in on private jets and putting them in luxury suites, with food and drink all paid for. Some high rollers even get rebates on their gambling losses – 20% is a common figure. It’s all worth it to the casino, as long as the customer plays often enough at the biggest stakes.
Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams
That’s usually not a problem for high rollers. They’ve already amassed huge fortunes before coming to the casino, be they captains of industry, famous actors and athletes. Former basketball star and current TV analyst Charles Barkley is an avid gambler, with blackjack being his favorite game.
These people are used to luxury. Everywhere they go, including the casino, they expect to be treated like royalty. In fact, some high rollers are royalty. The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, is a baccarat aficionado who’s been known to drop as much as $1 million in a single day at the tables. The Sultan lives in an 1,800-room palace, flies his own Boeing 747 jet, and owns a gold-plated Rolls Royce. He can afford it.
Sometimes, though, these high rollers take it too far. Omar Siddiqui was an executive at Fry’s Electronics, making pretty good coin at $225,000 per annum. Then Siddiqui started to fly into Vegas from the Bay Area, demanding to be called “Mr. S.” and have bottles of Dom Pérignon sent to his room. Siddiqui was arrested in 2008 on charges of wire fraud and money laundering. In 2011, he filed for bankruptcy, with almost $137 million in debt. As they say, know your limit, play within it.