Family Gambling Dynasties Through History


Gambling’s tempting mix of risk and reward has drawn in players for millennia, building and demolishing fortunes in the blink of an eye. But a select few families have managed to parlay games of chance into multi-generational success stories. Their savvy business sense and sharp gambling instincts allowed them to turn profits in card houses, betting shops, physical and online casinos like Kansino NL and beyond.

These gambling dynasties wielded outsized power and influence in their domains, often shamelessly flouting laws and social mores. Their extravagant wealth was matched only by scandalous activities and family infighting. Yet many still stand today as icons of gambling’s potentially lucrative allure.

The Clermonts – Founding Fathers of Gambling Luxury

No history of gambling dynasties would be complete without the story of the Clermont brothers François and Louis. Sons of a wealthy aristocrat, the dashing Frenchmen came to dominate the European gambling scene in the 1700s. They gained renown as owners of lavish private gambling houses that offered every game under the sun in unparalleled Baroque splendor.

The Clermonts pioneered the concept of the play jetx casino as luxury entertainment, attended by nobles and royalty. Their extravagant hospitality and flair for drama cemented their popularity among the elite. Yet resentment simmered among the upper crust over the enormous profits the brothers accrued from their gaming rooms.

François and Louis amassed considerable wealth from their enterprises, which they invested into noble titles and relationships with heads of state. But their influence did not survive the French Revolution, which saw royal gambling patronage dry up. However the opulent style of gaming the Clermonts championed lives on in modern casino culture.

The Fertitta Empire – From Blackjack to Broadcast Rights

The Fertitta family has its origins, fittingly enough, in gambling. Patriarch Vic Fertitta was a cousin of Galveston crime boss Sam Maceo, and ran a successful Bingo parlor for him that skirted the edge of the law. His gaming savvy was passed down to sons Frank Fertitta Jr. and Lorenzo Fertitta, who became casino executives in Las Vegas after gaming was legalized in Nevada.

The real diversification of the Fertitta fortune came under Lorenzo’s stewardship. He acquired numerous casinos and hotels through Fertitta Enterprises. Meanwhile Frank Jr. founded Station Casinos, which pioneered locals-oriented casino resorts off the Strip to great success.

But the Fertittas’ biggest leap came in 2001, when Lorenzo and Frank Jr. teamed up with childhood friend Dana White to buy the struggling Ultimate Fighting Championship brand for $2 million. Under their leadership UFC exploded into a multi-billion dollar sports media titan, securing the enduring legacy of the Fertitta empire.

The Star-Crossed Story of the Beny Steinmetz Group

Israeli-French businessman Beny Steinmetz built a name for himself in the diamond industry in the 1990s and 2000s. But it was his lesser-known foray into gambling that would create an enduring legacy – and controversy.

Steinmetz founded gambling technology supplier BSG in 2005, aiming to revolutionize the online gaming market. Within a few short years BSG grew into a juggernaut, providing online gambling services to millions across Europe from its base in Austria.

Yet BSG’s meteoric rise was matched by an equally dramatic fall. In 2009 founder Beny Steinmetz was indicted on bribery charges related to BSG’s gambling operations in Hungary. While Steinmetz was ultimately acquitted in 2013, BSG collapsed under the weight of debts and the online gambling market turning on it.

The fall of BSG serves as a cautionary tale about the fine line between stunning success and catastrophic failure in the fast-paced gambling industry. Companies can rise and evaporate nearly as quickly as a spin of the roulette wheel or a shuffle of the cards.

The Tale of Two Brothers in Macau’s Resort Boom

Few families represent the change and growth brought by legal gambling more than the Ho’s of Macau. From meager beginnings, siblings Stanley and Lawrence Ho capitalized on opportunities in Macau’s casino market as it liberalized to become the world’s largest gaming destination.

Following the expiry of Macau’s long-running casino monopoly in 2002, several new concessions to run gaming resorts were awarded. This included one granted to Lawrence Ho alongside joint venture partners. Quickly getting in on the ground floor during Macau’s casino building boom proved immensely lucrative – Lawrence became a billionaire as Macau’s profits eclipsed Las Vegas.

Not one to be left out, Stanley Ho had long dominance over Macau’s monopoly-era gambling scene as an influential tycoon. After the market opened up, he too entered the new-look industry, partnering with other big-name brands.

Though once quite close, relations between the brothers soured over competing business interests. Yet the huge imprint they left on Macau’s gambling landscape bears testament to the game-changing potential of casino riches.

A Round of Risk and Reward

Gambling’s glittering promise of riches built up – and tore apart – many dynasties across history. Their stories reveal shrewd business cunning but also an appetite for risk bordering on recklessness. Scandal and excess are never far removed in these tales of colossal wealth made and squandered on games of chance.

Yet for those families able to balance both smarts and luck across generations, the gambling industry’s bountiful profits proved perpetually alluring. These dynasties learned adaptability amid gambling’s shifting tides, allowing them to flourish where so many others were ruined. And as games of chance march into the digital era, perhaps new self-made scions will one day join the ranks of storied gambling royalty – or become infamous in their dramatic demise.