Becoming a casino whale or high roller is a dream for many casino gamblers. These high-wagering and high-living casino aristocrats are afforded every luxury a casino has to offer.
We could all enjoy the opulent penthouse, VIP gaming, private jets, and elusive front row tickets for the best shows in town. However, it would cost us more than many could afford.
Of course, the whales enjoy all of these fantastic amenities and more for nothing more than merely gambling in their chosen casino, albeit for insane sums of money.
These seven key differences between the whales and the rest of us will pull the curtain on the lifestyle of the rich and famous casino gamblers. You may begin to see why the casinos are so eager to roll out the red carpet.
1 – Slot Players Get a Higher RTP
If you’re a slot machine enthusiast, you probably know that the higher denomination games have lower volatility and higher return to player or RTP than the penny slots.
Well, this is equally true when you move from the $1 slot machines to the high roller slots in the VIP room. You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to figure out the exact payout percentage for a particular game because Casino A and Casino B could order the same game with different RTP.
Still, using the denomination as a barometer will assist you in narrowing down a range of payouts. For example, the penny games will be around 90% RTP on the higher end. That means the machine keeps only $0.10 of every dollar played.
Even with the massive discrepancy in RTP, the expected hourly loss for the player in the high limit area is much higher. As a rule, the more money you’re risking with the casino, the more freebies they’ll shower on you.
2 – Online Players Get Far More Freedom
The incredible rise of real money online casinos has also caught the attention of the whales. The online whale isn’t necessarily the jet-setting billionaire type you’ll expect in Las Vegas.
The online whales are more of a high roller; they play for big money. Because of the amount they put on the tables, online casinos afford them bonuses and perks not available to the rest of us.
One of the most obvious perks enjoyed by online whales revolves around deposits and withdrawals. Many casinos have limits in place that are perfectly acceptable to the average online casino gambler.
However, these deposit and withdrawal limits may hamper the VIP gamblers. That’s one of the last things the casino would want to do.
Being able to load more money into your balance or make a substantial withdrawal may seem like a small perk. I’m sure it’s of extreme importance for the whales.
The added benefits don’t end there. Online whales enjoy more extraordinary deposit bonuses and comps.
Just like in any run-of-the-mill brick and mortar casino, the online casinos have a tiered rewards program. So, the more money being wagered, the greater the rewards.
Clearly, online casinos want to earn and keep the business of the high-limit gamblers.
3 – Betting Systems Treat Whales Worse
Not everything in the casinos benefits the whales. Well, it depends on how you view it.
This will be of no consequence for many of you because you see the inherent flaws of betting systems. For the others, this could illustrate the tremendous downside of trying to outwit the casino with betting systems.
In the Martingale system, a player will double their bet after a loss. The thought is a win on the following result will set them back to even.
Another loss will have that player double again until they get back to even. There are several issues with such a strategy, so I almost exclusively advocate a flat betting style.
The first way this can turn ugly for the player is when they hit a bad stretch and are in danger of running out of money. I’ve seen many players double their way to bankruptcy.
Obviously, this is of little concern for most whales. There is another flaw in the system that can kill the hopes of players regardless of bankroll.
Table limits will catch up to you if the bankroll doesn’t get you first. Sometimes, players in VIP sections can negotiate a higher table limit, but it’s at the casino’s discretion.
The Martingale rarely works out for anyone; for the whales, it’s even more dangerous.
4 – Whales Play by a Different Set of Rules
The casinos are constantly battling to lure players into their domain. One critical method for bringing in the big fish is by sweetening the rules for the high limit tables.
The average blackjack table in Las Vegas holds a house edge of slightly under 2%. This isn’t bad and makes the game one of the friendliest in the casino for players.
However, when you make the leap from playing for $10 per hand to over $100, the tables change dramatically. The high limit tables in Las Vegas offer a house edge of well below 0.05%.
You can see why the high rollers flock to the VIP tables. They’ll still lose enough to keep the casino happy, but not so much that they jump ship.
5 – Casino Credit Lines
One of the more bizarre conveniences offered to whales by the casino is the casino credit line. Personally, it would seem just as easy to wire the money directly to the casino.
However, the casinos will extend massive lines of credit to the ultra-wealthy clientele. They want to make their gambling adventure as convenient as possible.
Still, I imagine it’s far less stressful playing with literal house money. Why have a team of accountants if not to pay your gambling debts?
Unfortunately, these whales don’t always pay up. It’s often at a much-reduced price than the sum of the actual losses. There has been a rash of casinos suing players over the past 20 years. These credit lines often exceed the $10 million-mark, and no casino wants to take that hit.
Players have tried to argue that they suffer from compulsive gambling, and the casinos enable their addiction. The courts have disagreed, and almost any case that has gone to court falls in the casino’s favor.
Regardless of the implications of receiving a casino line of credit, it’s reserved for the high rollers, and the money involved can be mind-boggling.
6 – Whales Gamble for Ridiculous Amounts of Cash
When I say the whales are playing for ridiculous money, I mean genuinely insane amounts of cash. The casinos do their best to protect the financial information of players.
So, it’s hard to know exactly how much a whale is gambling. We can look at court cases involving the credit lines I mentioned above to get an idea.
Eventually, Caesars sued Watanabe for nearly $15 million. That’s enormous but pales in comparison to the total sum of his losses.
I’d like to think I’d find a better use for over $200 million, but I’m in no position to judge. I assume that the $20 tables don’t hit the same when you’re nearly worth a billion dollars.
7 – The Comps Are Insane
The freebies showered on the whales is the number one reason we all aspire to their status. Every whim is catered to night and day for these high rollers.
They arrive via private cars and are ushered directly to their lavish suites, where they enjoy an unlimited supply of their favorite food and beverage selections.
Luckily, the mega-resorts offer exquisite spas, luxury boutique shopping, top-end entertainers, fantastic fine dining, and posh VIP gambling. All of this effort is a clever ruse to steal the whales from the competing casinos from across the street or across the globe.
Money Makes the World Go Round
Indeed, we can all enjoy a small piece of the lifestyles of the rich and famous, but the top echelon is reserved for the high rolling big spenders.
The seven key differences between the whales and the rest of us demonstrate the significant gap between where the casino places an emphasis.