The biggest loser

Man sues casinos after losing $127 million

During a 2007 gambling binge at the Caesars Palace and Rio casinos, Terrance Watanabe lost almost $127 million in what is believed to be one of the worst losing streaks in Las Vegas history. The money represented most of Watanabe’s personal fortune, built up over 20 years as part of his family’s party-favour import business based in Nebraska, the Wall Street Journal reports. The casinos’ parent company, Harrah’s Entertainment Inc, got about 5.6 per cent of its Las Vegas gambling revenue that year from Watanabe alone. The 52-year-old has since filed a civil suit, alleging casino staff plied him with liquor and pain medication to keep him gambling. Based on the allegations, Nevada’s Gaming Control has launched a separate investigation into whether Harrah’s violated regulations. Meanwhile, Watanabe was charged in April with four felony counts in district court for intent to defraud and steal $14.7 million from Harrah’s, money the casino says it extended as credit to him, which he then lost. Watanabe has paid nearly $112 million back to the company, but won’t pay the rest.

Wall Street Journal

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