SINGAPORE – According to Sources , a local businessman, who appeared on the latest Forbes list of Singapore’s 40 richest people, recently lost a total of $100 million at the two casinos here.
While significant, this is a fraction of his estimated net worth. But he’s not the only high-roller to discover that “the house always wins”.
Around the same time, sources said, another tycoon from the timber-rich East Malaysian state of Sabah lost $50 million here.
“These guys can well afford the losses,” said one high-roller who is a regular at Singapore’s two casinos – at Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands.
However, while gamblers losing $10 million to $20 million over a few sessions in the rooms reserved for high-rollers are no longer a rare breed, the source said that whispers of these two businessmen parting with a total of $150 million have raised more than a few eyebrows, even among the regulars.
News of these two multi-million-dollar casino losers comes amid an update that local businessman Henry Quek, who lost $26 million during a three-day gambling spree, is said to have settled his debts.
Mr Quek, the managing director of Far Ocean Sea Products, a seafood processing and trading company operating out of Fishery Port Road in Jurong, had initially considered legal action against Resorts World Sentosa for granting him credit too easily.
It is understood that the casino had shaved $6 million off his debt initially and another $3 million after the media reports about the case.
Mr Quek is said to have settled the rest of the outstanding debt. Unlike Mr Quek, the two latest multi-million-dollar losers, who are believed to have put their money at gaming tables of both Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands, are said to have absorbed their losses without any complaints.
Against the backdrop of such mega-losses by individual high-rollers, analysts say it is not surprising Mr Sheldon Adelson, chairman of Las Vegas Sands, parent of Marina Bay Sands, predicted that Singapore could, in a few years, overtake Las Vegas as the world’s second-largest gaming centre behind Macau.
A Detailed analysis :-
HE WAS quite the showoff who bragged about his achievements.
Today, he is noticeably quiet.
You would be, too, if you lost $26.3 million at the tables.
One local businessman here, in his 50s, lost that staggering amount in Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) over just three days in June, reported Today earlier this week.
The high roller is reportedly the managing director of a multi-million dollar company.
He is now consulting a local law firm about possible legal action against the casino on grounds of negligence.
RWS, when contacted, said it does not comment on its customers.
He got to know this businessman through a friend.
Said Jason in Mandarin: “Before the newspaper report was out, we already knew that he had lost money. He used to talk the loudest in the group and was quite the showoff.
“But after his loss, he became quieter.”
Jason said that this businessman is married, even though it was reported that he was at the tables with girlfriend in tow.
A quick search on the Registry of Marriages showed that he’s married to a foreigner. Said Jason: “I don’t know much about his family but I know he’s wealthy. He’s a multi-millionaire and owns several houses and cars.”
He travels in style too, chauffeured around in a uber-luxurious car worth at least $700,000. From what Jason has noticed about the businessman at the casino tables, he thought nothing of playing a few hundred thousand dollars a hand.
His favourite game? Baccarat.
Said Jason: “He makes a lot of noise when he plays. I think it’s all about saving face and the need to show off to his friends around him.”
So, he bets big.
He reportedly lost a staggering $18 million in one day alone, playing baccarat at $400,000 a hand.
Once when his losses crossed the $4-million mark, his girlfriend started crying and pleaded with a RWS’ senior officers to stop giving him more chips on credit, claimed the businessman. The same officer, he claimed, assured him that the casino was prepared to extend him more credit, even though his limit had been exceeded.
Of his $26.3 million loss, the businessman repaid about $10 million.
It was reported that as of July 22, he still owed RWS some $13 million.
It is unknown if the debt has since been settled.
Jason said that he’s not as hardcore a gambler as the high roller but confesses that he does bet big on the tables here sometimes.
But he does have a credit line of about $300,000 with both RWS and Marina Bay Sands (MBS) here. He said that as a high roller, he’s very well-treated by casino operators here and worldwide. And for good reasons too.
These gamblers may make up only one per cent of a casino’s clientele, but they may yield about 20 per cent of the revenue, an industry observer told The New Paper.
It is estimated that there are 200 to 300 high rollers here, reported the Straits Times in January.
The total gaming revenue for both RWS and MBS combined has been estimated at around US$3 billion ($4 billion) yearly, reported the Business Times earlier this month.
Typically, they bet anything from $5,000 to $200,000 a game, but the sky’s the limit.
Jason said that he’s on both casinos’ VIP lists.
The casinos spare no expenses wining and dining their important guests.
Gaming suites, for instance, have plush carpets and glass cases stocked with bottles of brandy and Cuban cigars.
This high roller said he frequents the local casinos at least once a week.
Said Jason: “There’s no limit on the number of drinks you can order, everything is free flow. You want the finest champagne, premium XO brandy, no problem.”
The same goes for food, he said, adding that he enjoys the free flow of bird’s nest too.
He added: “Usually, these gamblers don’t care much about food. They’re too busy gambling to care.”
The popular games are roulette and baccarat. Each suite can accommodate at least a hundred gamblers at any time, he said.
His single biggest hand was $40,000 for baccarat.
So far, he’s down about $5,000 for all his efforts.
He added: “I play for fun and to while away my time. I don’t think I am addicted to it. I can control and walk away from (the table) anytime.”
The VIP service accorded to high rollers here is hush-hush in the competitive gaming industry. The two operators were unwilling to disclose what went on behind their gilded closed doors. Also, the high rollers, who value their privacy, may turn up, gamble and leave without being seen, accessing a network of secret corridors, lifts and entrances to do so.
In fact, the VIP treatment begins at the airport of the high roller’s host country.
A private jet specially chartered by the casino, free of charge of course, whisks him to his favourite casino.
We understand that RWS has a fleet of these jets to cater to these high-yield players. At Changi Airport, a VIP greeter at JetQuay, a luxury terminal with its own dedicated check-in and immigration services, meets him.
He’s then ushered into a Rolls-Royce Phantom driven by a uniformed chauffeur.
At RWS, he’ll be checked into the Crockfords Tower, an invitation-only hotel where its 120 suites are not open to the public.
No rack rates here. So no invitation, no stay.
Unless you have at least $100,000 to gamble with.
On arrival, services are personalised too, and a team of butlers wait on the guests round the clock, said RWS.
Food from any restaurant – or any part of Singapore for that matter – can be sent up to the rooms upon request.
The guest can even choose the pillow he wants – buckwheat, down feather or anti-snoring. High rollers also get to gamble in private rooms and have separate parts of the hotels set aside exclusively for them.
The History :-
A RICH Singaporean man, who lost S$26mil in a three-day gambling spree at the casino in Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), helms one of Singapore’s biggest seafood distributors.
Mr Henry Quek plans to sue a world-renowned casino for loaning him a huge sum of money to gamble without first checking his financial position, reported China Press.
The Straits Times reported that Mr Quek is the managing director of Far Ocean Sea Products, a seafood processing and trading company operating out of Fishery Port Road in Jurong.
The businessman, who is in his 50s, is also the president of the Seafood Industries Association Singapore, a group which comprises local companies that process, manufacture and trade in seafood.
The youngest son in his family, Mr Quek started out managing Kiang Huat Sea Products, a seafood auctioning business set up by his father in 1980.
In the 1990s, the company merged with Far Ocean, also set up by his father, and grew over the years into a multi-million dollar business.
It exports seafood from squid to swordfish to restaurants, food factories and wholesalers around the world. The company also added food processing and meat products distribution to its portfolio in recent years.
According to a legal document, Mr Quek was loaned S$500,000 for gambling by the casino in March and the loanwas later increased to S$2mil the following month.
He also claimed that he had experienced losing and winning money amounting to a few hundred thousand dollars in each gambling session and once it reached as high as S$6mil and yet he could still get a loan by just filling up an application form.
When his losses exceeded S$4mil, the businessman said his girlfriend cried and begged the casino not to loan him any more money.
In spite of that, the casino staff told him that he could continue getting loans although he had exceeded the credit limit.
A spokesman of the casino said the company could not comment on their customers.