Silence of The Whales Super Rich Are They To Hot To Handle

Silence of The Whales Super Rich Are They To Hot To Handle
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Super Rich Are They To Hot

There has been a growing interest displayed within the world’s media regarding the alleged re-emergence of the super-rich and the establishments which attempt to cater to their every whim. As the United Kingdom and the Western World in general appear to suffer under the unwelcome hand of austerity, hotels for the super-rich have experienced a strong recovery that bucks the current financial trend.

The Mail Online, as early as September 2008, remarked on the rates at The Atlantis Hotel, Dubai: rooms from £400 to £14,000 a night. The Independent reported atlantis-the-palmin August 2010 on the Hotel George V, Paris: rooms from €3,000 to €13,000 a night. However, these premises are at the lower end of the super-rich scale. The exhausted billionaire can find a suitable room in nearly every major city in the world with the prize for the priciest suite in the world awarded to the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva, a snip at $65,000 a night and just a stones throw and 15 minute presidential limo ride from the UN.

Super Rich

What then of the gambling habits of the multi millionaires recently emerged from this puzzling hibernation? It has been suggested that European casino operators, once the first port of call for international gambling oligarchs, have somehow lost their way. One caviar-restaurant owner in Paris may provide a clue. He believes that in these austere times, his super-rich clientele are more aware of the image their excessive spending generates. Hence, many of his customers prefer to enter his restaurant via the staff entrance. This publicity-shy approach should traditionally benefit the owners of high end UK casinos. For many years the rich Middle-Eastern ‘petro-millionaires’ chose London as their summer destination, not only to escape the seasonal heat of their homelands, but to avail themselves of the discrete personal services, including casinos, which were on offer in the UK capital.

Super Rich

caviar-250pxAny good student of the British casino industry will tell you that the unnecessary ‘bun fight’ between the UK’s most successful casino operators of the late 1970s and early 1980s, sparked by the greed for high rolling custom, resulted in the British gaming industry falling into the hands of non-gaming organisations. It was never to fully recover. The industry became controlled by suited corporate officers terrified of high rolling clientele. Smaller independent casinos have survived, but their nerve has been broken. This can be illustrated by the travails of one of Britain’s most recognisable gambling names, Aspinalls. According to The Telegraph, Damian Aspinall put his London casino up for sale after sustaining heavy losses to “whales” or super-rich clientele. This sale ended the family’s high end involvement in London gaming. If The Telegraph is to be believed, Aspinalls was under pressure from its bankers, the RBS, and selling on its high end London club was deemed necessary. Experienced gaming staff know better than the RBS, not exactly an astounding declaration considering RBS’s recent history. Aspinalls would have eventually recouped its losses with interest, something of which its founder would have been confidently aware.

Super Rich

Has the British casino industry become millionaire shy? Has it lost its Nerve? Arguably, yes, on both counts, as illustrated by the growth of ‘threshold’ establishments and the concerted campaign by some operators to attract younger, low-threat custom. However, there may be another and simpler explanation: the British casino industry lost its’ skilled ‘whale-handlers’ in the 1970s and 1980s and, inevitably, its high end clientele to other destinations.
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Super Rich Are They To Hot To Handle for the UK Casinos 

Seamus has broad experience of working within highly regulated business environments as well as building operations and establishing operational procedures and change management for start up organisations. He also owns and runs blog.gamblinglicensingadvice.com and gamblinglicensingadvice.com

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