Tuesday, December 8th 2009, 11:37 AM Terry Watanabe, who faces 16 years in prison after running up $125 million in gambling debts at Las Vegas tables. A gambler who didn't know when to hold 'em -- or know when to fold 'em -- reportedly lost a jaw-dropping $125 million during a single year of gambling in Las Vegas.
Now Terrance Watanabe faces criminal charges for nonpayment of the debts incurred during his gambling binges, London's Daily Mail newspaper reports.
In a feat of excess depraved even by Vegas' standards, Watanabe reportedly bet $825 million at Caesars Palace and Rio casinos -- occasionally losing millions of dollars in a single 24-hour excursion and becoming a one-man freak show tourists would ogle.
"It got to the point where people would go just to watch," a Las Vegas regular told the Daily Mail. "There are a lot of things that make you cringe in Vegas -- but I've never seen anything like that."
His choices in games of chance were consistently boneheaded, the paper reports, as he would stay up all night to blow thousands on roulette and slot machines -- games in which odds are heavily in the house's favor.
Vegas associates reportedly say he brought his bad game to the blackjack table as well, where he'd regularly sit at a $50,000-limit table playing three hands simultaneously -- and badly.
"He made such bad decisions on the blackjack table,” one of Watanabe's personal handlers at Caesars Palace, Kristian Kunder, said of Watanabe.
His antics earned him a personal bartender at both Caesars and the Rio, the Daily Mail reports, and he earned notoriety handing out stacks of hundred-dollar bills -- sometimes up to $20,000 -- to casino personnel as tips.
The 52-year-old toy magnate-turned-philanthropist has fired back with a lawsuit against the two casinos, alleging he was regularly plied with drugs and alcohol before being turned loose to run rampant on the casino floor.
Allowing intoxicated people to gamble is a violation of gaming rules.
A former defense attorney for Watanabe vowed to produce a Caesars security guard who "does not recall ever seeing Mr. Watanabe in a sober state."
Watanabe was charged with the theft of more than $14.5 million in losses the casinos say he failed to repay.
He is free on a $1.5 million bail, the Daily Mail reports, and faces 16 years in jail if convicted. His trial is set for July.
Joined: May '08
Age: 49 (M)
what why gives a casino so many credits.I don´t know witch one of the boths are more stupid.The man he lost 125m in a year or the casino that gives so many credit 14,5m not paid bills lol.Think is the know mistake from the casino
Joined: Feb '08
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 33 (M)
This man had a problem that even a gambling addiction can't explain. why would he pay the tips and make purposely bad decisions if he was the average gambling addict trying to win his money back. It sounds like he's intentionally throwing his life away cos he's depressed or maybe he's addicted to the thrill of spending money. Either way the casino has a responsibility to turn him away. The man needs a psychiatrist or rehab for narcotics or something.
Joined: Apr '09
Age: 38 (M)
i think that's just really poor on the casino's part. Obv that man aint right and was exploited heavily. If you run a business like a casino and see someone blowing cash like that, you know what the right decision is and what the wrong decision.
Joined: Feb '08
Age: 62 (M)
i feel sorry for this person , he needs help instead of going to jail and as about the casinos ... well they can put the blame on theirselves to give someone so much credit , but like always ... it's just business for them .