Terence Watanabe is an American businessman who inherited a company called Oriental Trading. He is, however, best known for being a high roller with lavish gambling habits and one of the biggest Vegas Whales. In 2000 Watanabe sold his company to LA-based private equity and became a philanthropist who subsequently lost most of his fortune gambling in Las Vegas.
Terence Watanabe’s Gambling Habits
After selling his company, he lost $127 million at Caesars Palace and the Rio in Las Vegas after having gambled a total of $825 million. As a compulsive gambler, Wynn Las Vegas banned him, and by then it was estimated he had lost a total of $204 million.
Watanabe incurred massive debts with Harrah’s casino which was bought out by Caesars Entertainment, debts that he never paid back. Caesars filed a lawsuit, leading him to be criminally charged. In 2010 he settled this massive criminal and civil case with Caesars Las Vegas. His main argument was the fact that the casino allowed him to continue gambling while intoxicated, which is illegal. The case was settled and Caesars Entertainment was fined $225 000 in March 2013.
Terrence Watanabe Today
He has mostly stayed out of the news, but misfortune struck in July 2017. He opened a GoFundMe fundraiser for a Medical illness as he was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and requires surgery which costs $100 000 and he cannot afford to pay for it as he is flat broke.
Many may see him as looking for pity, however he says he has come to terms with his situation and hopes many can forgive him for his past and assist him, so he lives long enough to help others in the future. Many have shunned him and have made comments like he was rich and blew his fortune gambling, so he deserves everything he gets.
Nobody deserves ill health, and there are many stories about his generosity and he gave millions of dollars to NPO, in particular, LGBTQ and the Elton John AIDS foundation.
As of May 2020, the GoFundMe campaign closed with a total of $28 610 raised.