Kerry Packer was an Australian business mogul that was famous for not only chasing deals, but his love for gambling. He not only loved it, he was one of the biggest whales the gambling world had seen. Kerry was known to win huge and would also lose huge. We’re talking losses that go up to the millions. His favourite game was blackjack. You can learn more about Blackjack and other gambling games at Bingo Mummy. Kerry gambled when he was bored, and he was bored quite often.

The beginning

Packer began gambling in the 80s. In 1987, he lost $19 million in a night at the Ritz. This was just 2 months after selling Nine. Packer was dubbed the Prince of Whales due to his exploits in London and Vegas casinos in the 80s and 90s. He was regarded as one of the biggest gamblers in the world.

In that legendary 1987 $19 million loss at the Ritz, Parker was playing blackjack. Eyewitnesses state that he played two tables at once that night moving from one to the next to place his bets. He played all seven hands at each table and staked $24,000 per hand. He kept signing casino house cheques requesting for more chips of up to $473,000 a time. He got tired of signing his name after a while choosing to hand over a £1 million cheque instead.

In London, there were only 3 or 4 casinos that could handle Packer at a time due to the large amounts he demanded to bet in. It could go one of either way for a casino. If the whale lost, a dull financial year could be completely transformed or if he won, he could hijack their entire profits. As funny as that sounds, it could also be very dangerous. The casino can get shut down like what happened in 1990 with the Aspinalls Club in London. Kerry Packer is said to have gambled there a week earlier and won £300,000 ($709,000). A classic case of ‘You’re winning too much’.

This can be quite the ego boost for anyone in such a position. If you thought that gave you an ego boost, then see this. Every time Packer was on his way to a casino, the casino would request that he alert them when he is 30 minutes away so that they could get things ready for him. The casinos would have a red carpet waiting for him. He’d arrive accompanied by a party of 7 or 8, although he was always at the tables alone. As he walked the floor, staff would communicate over a channel alerting each other ‘He’s in.’

He would show little emotion when he won, but was always incredibly cranky whenever he lost. This was especially if he was back in Australia betting at the racetrack.


Casinos in Vegas also have their own share of stories about Packer. There’s that time at the Hilton when Packer won $7 million in one night playing blackjack. He left Hilton laughing that day, but the next year the hotel recovered this money when Packer lost $10 million in a two-day session. In 1995, he won $20 million at the MGM Grand. What started off as playing eight hands at $250,000 per hand, got to $25 million within 40 minutes. He left the casino that night with a $1 million tip for the dealers.

This whale wasn’t just one of the best gamblers, he was one of the best tippers and no one knows this better than the dealers, waitresses and casino staff members who served him.