“ ‘What’s a whale?’ he asked finally.
Martinez clinked his glass against the window. ‘A whale is someone who can lose a million dollars at cards – and not give a damn.’ ”
– Bringing Down the House, Ben Mezrich
Are you a High Roller? A surprising number of players think that they are. But here I’m talking about a legitimate bona fide whale. Being comfortable consistently betting £10/spin for hours at a time, or being comfortable losing £10k-£20k in a month certainly puts you in the upper brackets of players. Casinos will consider you high value and you’re going to get lavished with perks. But for the purposes of this page we mean a player that will happily bet £100+/spin on a slots machine, £500+/hand of Blackjack and can win or lose £500k without it having any significant impact on their lifestyle. If that sounds like you then you’re unquestionably a real life genuine whale in gambling terms.
Some casinos covet these players above all others and will go to extreme lengths to attract and retain them.
We’ve put a lot of work into our casino ratings system and absolutely believe that it provides the best way for players to determine which casinos are the best for them to play with. From low rollers right up to high rollers, it can point you to the best operator around and the best bonuses available for your style of play. However, our system has a fundamental flaw when it comes to whales, those extremely high rolling players described above.
Other casinos actively avoid whale players. The problem exists in terms of bankroll. This isn’t a factor that’s ever taken into consideration in our casino reviews as for even a relatively high roller the majority of our Recommended operators could afford to pay anything they’re likely to win without issue. Nothing that 99.99% of players could win would be a threat to their business. A whale however plays in such a way that the swings can be massive. Six or seven figure swings are not unusual. And for many small or mid-sized operators swings this large are far too risky and could potentially jeopardise their ability to pay other players. What’s the use of winning half a million if the casino is going to have to take a year or more to pay you? Or signing-up to a new casino simply to be told the first time you win that the casino will pay you, but do not want your action anymore?
For a genuine whale, they need to play at a casino that can handle their action and isn’t going to end up with cold feet if they hit a big win. But at the same time it’s even more important for a whale to play with a trustworthy and transparent operator that isn’t going to close their account, refuse to pay wins and refuse to talk to anyone about what’s happened.
This section is dedicated to highlighting those operators that are both player friendly, fair and transparent and are well bankrolled enough to handle any win that even a whale is likely to generate.