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Who are the High Rollers of Vegas?

Who are the High Rollers of Vegas?  image

Who are the High Rollers of Vegas?

The Huffington Post may have named the High Roller Observation wheel as the must see attraction of 2015 but, have you ever wondered who the actual high rollers of the casinos are? The arrest of Las Vegas high roller Omar Siddique gave us a sneak peek into who they are and what it is like to be one.

A Different Way of Life

Omar Siddique was a 43 year old man who regularly travelled to Las Vegas to gamble big at the blackjack tables at the casinos on the strip. He was known as playing like a machine. He played fast like the sports car he enjoyed driving and the dealers had trouble keeping up with him. So big, in fact, that he once lost $8 million in one night. What may be surprising to note, however, is that he was not a rich tycoon or a professional gambler. He was in fact a mild mannered Vice President of Merchandising at Fry Electronics in San Jose who earned a respectable $225,000 a year but had been funding his habit with a combination of fraud and million dollars of credit from the casinos.

Prior to his downfall he, just like the other high rollers or whales, was courted by the casinos on the Las Vegas strip. The hosts tried to lure him away from each other’s casino floors and onto their own. They would shower him with lavish gifts including the use of penthouse suites, cars and private jets as well as giving him tens of thousands of dollars in free casino play, meals and champagne. Given the huge amounts of money that Omar and other high rollers like him bet, however, the relationship is far from one sided. Omar could reportedly bet away his entire $225,000 salary in a matter of minutes. This is even before the dawn or reputable online casino resources, and the volumes of capital discussed are quite incredible.

The End of the Dream

As Omar’s attorney, Eric Sidebottom, once told the San Jose Mercury, a high roller such as Omar is “a big carcass you can feed off for a long time. They will pick away at the carcass for every last penny until you are deep in the hole.” Although this may appear to be the case with Omar, who is now serving time behind bars for the fraud he committed, in this case the casinos have not walked away unscathed either. After all, Omar is yet to pay millions of dollars’ worth of the credit the casinos gave him, and there is no chance of this happening for the foreseeable future.