William Benter, aka Bill Benter, is a Professional gambler and philanthropist. He became one of the wealthiest gamblers in the world due to an algorithm that he wrote for the horse racing industry. His earnings surpassed $1 billion from this algorithm.
He was born in 1957 in Pittsburgh and studied Physics after completing High School. However, he never graduated as he dropped out of University at the age of 22 and went to Las Vegas. He had read a book by which was about card counting, and he wanted to see if the theories in the book worked.
Bill Benter meets Alan Woods
Whilst Bill Benter was living in Vegas; he worked various small jobs to make ends meet. One of these jobs was at Macdonalds, where he met an Australian chap called Alan Woods, who became his partner. At the time, Alan Woods lead a card-counting team which Bill Benter joined. Inevitably the casinos in Las Vegas blacklisted them eventually, so they then set their sites on horse racing.
This is where Bill Benter’s Horse Racing algorithm came into play, and they used this algorithm along with Alan Woods mathematical skills to create a formula to choose winners of each race.
They focused their attention on the Hong Kong Horse Racing market, as there were only two racetracks and minimal horses, so it was easier to predict a winner.
For the first two years, they lost over $150 000, but in the third year, they made a profit of $100 000. However, by this time, they both had their own ideas on the best betting model and landed up parting ways.
After splitting up with Alan Woods, Bill Benter then created his own computer model which made him a very wealthy man.
Nowadays, Bill Benter is a guest speaker at Universities and Human Rights organisations.
Zeljko Ranogajec was born in Hobart Australia on the 22 May 1961 to Croatian immigrants. He is a professional gambler and Entrepreneur, also known as John Wilson. He studied finance, tax and banking at the University of Tasmania before becoming a professional gambler. It was at this University that his interest in gambling and more specifically, card counting started.
He tested out his newly learnt skills at the Wrest Point Casino, and this is where he met his future wife Shelley Wilson, who subsequently became his business partner.
Zeljko and his wife then moved to New South Wales where he initially continued his studies, but then dropped out to concentrate on gambling fulltime.
Gambling at Australian Casinos
Zeljko initially started gambling at the well-known casinos in Australia like Wrestpoint Casino and Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast.
He was subsequently banned from all of the Australian casinos, so started visiting the Las Vegas Casinos.
However, He had problems getting his winnings back to Australia, so he had to hide his winnings and duck and dive the authorities. He was soon banned from the casinos in Las Vegas as well.
Zeljko was always looking at different advantage play in other areas and branched out into Keno and Horse Racing where he continued to rack up the winnings.
On average, he earned $1billion per annum.
In 2011 Zeljko was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame alongside many other well-known gamblers like Bill Benter, Don Johnson and Stanford Wong.
Zeljko Ranogajev still gambles at sites like Betfair but keeps a low profile and leads a reclusive lifestyle. In 2019 and 2020 he appeared in the Australian Financial Review rich list with an estimated fortune of 600 million Australian Dollars.
He currently lives in Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, London.