Australia boasts a reputation as a nation of gamblers, with citizens showing an insatiable thirst for risk and reward. Over the years, we’ve seen some famous Australian gamblers who have an indelible mark on the scene with their exceptional prowess in games of chance. Legends like Kerry Packer, Zeljko Ranogajec, and others are revered by their peers and feared by casinos worldwide as they are some of the richest and most powerful people in Australia. Indeed, their extraordinary feats have become part of gambling folklore, cementing their place in history.
Kerry Packer, one of the most famous Australian gamblers, had a journey that began with inheriting his family’s vast fortune. However, rather than simply enjoying the benefits of his wealth, Packer was an ambitious man who ventured into the world of casino gambling. He quickly became known as a high-rolling maverick with an unmatched thirst for the game. Packer’s exploits in casinos were legendary, with notable wins and losses that earned him a reputation as a true gambler at heart.
Packer achieved his greatest triumph in gambling at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, amassing a staggering $20 million within just 40 minutes. This exceptional feat was accomplished by placing simultaneous wagers of $250,000 across eight tables.
Packer experienced an unfortunate historical event at Crocksford’s, setting a new record for the largest gambling loss in Britain. Losing $16.5 million over a three-day period, he surpassed Frank Saracakis, who previously lost $13 million playing roulette at the same casino.
Despite his ups and downs, Packer made important contributions to the casino industry, including his involvement with the Crown Casino empire. His legacy as both a successful businessman and a fearless gambler has left a lasting impact on the world.
When it comes to successful Australian gamblers, Zeljko Ranogajec’s name undoubtedly comes up at the top. Born in a Croatian family, Ranogajec’s love for gambling can be traced back to his early days. He started with simple card games and gradually progressed to blackjack and to horse race betting. His aptitude and interest in mathematics helped him develop a strategic approach that involved rigorous data analysis and probability calculations. His card counting was so good he was banned from many casinos.
Zeljko ventured into online gambling, exploring various sites but primarily focusing on Betfair. Ranogajec developed and implemented innovative techniques in his horse race betting methods, such as utilizing data analysis and technical expertise to spot betting inefficiencies that he could exploit. These techniques allowed him to achieve remarkable success in an industry where most players lose money. As a result, he became one of the world’s most successful professional gamblers, with a net worth estimated at over $1 billion.Allegedly, he is responsible for one-third of the bets made on this website in Australia. Additionally, Zeljko reportedly contributes over 6% to TabCorp’s annual revenue of $10 billion, making him a significant player in the Australian bookmaking industry.
He is somewhat of a recluse these days but he amassed a fortune from his betting activities. He does donate some of his winnings to notable charities. In recognition of his exceptional talent and contribution to the game of blackjack, Zeljko Ranogajec was inducted into the prestigious Blackjack Hall of Fame in 2011. This accolade further cemented his place as one of the most skilled and successful gamblers of all time.
Lloyd Williams is a legendary Australian gambler who made his fame and fortune through calculated betting raids during the Melbourne Cup. He was a close friend of Kerry Packer and the two shared a longstanding partnership in the gambling scene. Williams’ betting strategy was all about calculated risks, and he had a knack for picking the right horses to bet on. However, Williams eventually shifted his focus away from punting and towards his casino, Crown Casinos and horse racing endeavours.
Williams and his wife Suzie have triumphed in the coveted Melbourne Cup seven times, securing the prestigious title in 1981, 1985, 2007, 2012, 2016, 2017, and 2020.
His success as a gambling mastermind has earned him a place among the most famous Australian gamblers of all time.
Alan Woods was one of the greatest Australian gamblers, thanks to his unconventional path to riches through strategic betting. He was a true master in his craft, with his contributions to blackjack standing as proof of his expertise.
Woods only became serious about gambling after his wife’s departure in 1979. He successfully played blackjack in Hobart, earning $16,000 in just four months. Subsequently, he relocated to Las Vegas and accumulated an additional $100,000 by playing blackjack nonstop. Later, Woods expanded his gambling ventures to casinos in Europe, Australia, and Asia.
Woods stopped playing blackjack professionally and started horse betting in Hong Kong. It was there that he crossed paths with Bob Moore and Bill Benter. Together, they developed a computer model to analyse various factors such as track conditions, horse form, and weather, in order to predict race winners. The model proved successful, generating $100,000 during the 1987 racing season. However, the partnership between Benter and Woods came to an end that same year.
Alan Woods was notorious for his reclusive personality and his desire to remain out of the public eye. He rarely gave interviews, and when he did, he would always be very guarded about his betting methods and strategies. This elusive nature only added to his legendary status in the gambling world, and he remains a highly respected figure even today.
David Walsh, a self-professed antithesis to the typical wealthy gambler, has left a significant mark on the gambling world through his unconventional approach to casino games. Walsh started his gambling career playing professional blackjack, and his skills and approach to the game allowed him to accumulate substantial wealth in a relatively short period. But instead of spending his winnings on flashy cars and lavish lifestyles like many gamblers, Walsh put the money into a different passion of his: art collecting.
Walsh’s fascination with art started in his youth, but it wasn’t until he had the financial means to pursue it that he began seriously collecting. What started as a personal interest quickly grew into something more significant, with Walsh using his vast resources to amass an enviable collection of modern art. To house his artwork, Walsh created the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), a privately owned museum located in Hobart, Tasmania, which has since gained international recognition for its world-class collection and innovative exhibitions.
While Walsh’s love for art grew over time, his approach to gambling remained consistent. He viewed gambling as a calculated risk and applied principles from his art collecting to his gambling strategy. For instance, Walsh was never afraid to seek knowledge from experts, and he spent years studying and testing various gambling strategies. When he found a method that worked, he stuck to it and refined it to maximize his potential returns.
The world of gambling has been irrevocably changed by the journeys of these legendary Australian gamblers. Each individual possessed a unique set of qualities that set them apart from the rest, ultimately propelling them towards significant success in their field. From Kerry Packer’s unwavering confidence to David Walsh’s unconventional approach, their contributions to the broader gambling landscape have left a lasting impact to this day. Although these remarkable gamblers have since passed on, their legacies continue to inspire and influence future generations in the pursuit of greatness.
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