EXCLUSIVE: Foundation Media Partners has received exclusive rights to a book, film and documentary about the life story of Terry Watanabe, the infamous gambler who went down in history as the biggest whale in Las Vegas history, who lost over $200 million in one year after an unprecedented $825 dollars. million
While it’s not yet clear what exactly will come out of the deal, Foundation Media plans to adapt the cautionary tale into a feature film, documentary and/or book in collaboration with Watanabe himself. This will be the first time the legendary whale has spoken about his experiences since settling a lawsuit with an unknown casino group in 2010, as no official adaptations of his story have been previously announced.
The fall of Watanabe is perhaps the most epic and saddest in the history of Las Vegas gambling. The Omaha native, well versed in marketing and product selection, amassed his vast fortune after taking over his father’s humble trading business, Oriental Trading Co., and building it into a $300 million empire. He sold the company and stepped down as CEO in 2000 to focus on philanthropy, notably donating millions to AIDS research and services, according to records from his foundation.
After a significant downtime, Watanabe began playing at Harrah’s in Iowa in 2003, and two years later began making regular trips to Vegas, where his consumption and extravagance intensified. It was there that he made a name for himself as a generous patron and high-stakes gambler. Many employees say he stayed at the tables for up to 24 hours, sometimes losing up to $5 million a day. His indulgence was so over the top that one casino created a special client tier for him called “Chairman” and gave him lavish perks to keep him happy, including tickets to the Rolling Stones and exorbitant gift shop credit. It was also rumored that Watanabe increased the profits of this casino by 6%.
The multi-millionaire business tycoon ended up in huge debt. He reportedly lost over $200 million in 2007, leading to lengthy lawsuits with casino corporations. Throughout the legal battles, Watanabe claims that the casinos and their scheming owners contributed to his substance abuse and further exacerbated his mental health problems, creating a highly exploitative environment in which he preyed on his wealth. But it’s a long and complicated story that Foundation Media Partners is keen to tell, and Terry Watanabe seems ready to clear things up.
“I have heard a lot about Terry over the years and have become obsessed with learning more about him,” said Foundation Media Partners founder and CEO Patrick Hughes. “I always imagined that I was telling his story with a director who could really capture the claustrophobic surreal world he was trapped in. All the money in the world and a heart of gold and then he got into a crazy hamster wheel. abundance and self-destruction is as tragic as it is fascinating.
“Our goal is to tell his story unfiltered and in a variety of formats, allowing viewers to really immerse themselves in this world that literally only ONE PERSON has ever experienced at this level, and somehow came out the other side to tell the story.” Hughes added. “I’m honored and delighted that Terry has agreed to work with us on this.”
Founded by Hughes in 2016, Foundation Media is a dedicated partnership dedicated to supporting outstanding creatives, including emerging and established companies and individuals in the arts, entertainment, digital media, corporate, music, technology, retail and fashion industries. industry. With a diverse executive team, its network spans the entire entertainment ecosystem, including strategy, licensing, sync/licensing, labels, distribution, marketing and branding. Some of his notable partnerships include Build-A-Bear Workshop, DreamWorks Animation Bad guys (based on the best-selling novel by Aaron Bluby) as well as a host of music artists with their partner Blueprint Group such as G Eazy, The Roots, Latto and Jill Scott.