Gambler Wins $3M, Suffers Heart Attack Celebrating

Posted on: June 24, 2024, 08:00h. 

Last updated on: June 25, 2024, 01:54h.

Marina Bay Sands in Singapore was the site of a chaotic event over the weekend posts on social media, including X, suggest.

Marina Bay Sands heart attack gambler
A man reportedly suffers a heart attack on the Marina Bay Sands casino floor after winning a jackpot. Social media videos reported that the man died from cardiac arrest though he did manage to survive the incident. (Image: X)

The famed integrated resort casino owned and operated by Las Vegas Sands was where a gambler, according to videos shared online, hit a S$4 million (US$2.95M) jackpot while playing an unidentified high-stakes game. That’s where the man’s good fortune took a turn.

Soon after hitting the jackpot, the man celebrated before going into cardiac arrest. The video footage shows a man lying on the floor with security and medical officials responding. The unidentified man reportedly suffered a major heart attack but survived. A woman can be seen screaming in horror as efforts to resuscitate the man endure. 

Many social media reports suggested the man died, but those reports were inaccurate and the man is recovering and is expected to enjoy his riches once back to full health.

Payout Still Due

Many on social media asked whether casinos are still on the hook for paying out a jackpot if a recipient died moments after hitting the win and before collecting the cash.

Responding to a 2019 Reddit thread on the hypothetical issue, an attorney responded that in the US, the winnings would be paid to the gambler’s next of kin.

“A casino game is a contract, and believe it or not, death does not change a contract. You made an agreement with the casino that you will pay for the chance to play a game, and if the game comes out a certain way, the casino will owe you a certain amount of money,” the attorney explained.

You could die before the slot machine stops spinning and your estate is still owed the winnings,” the answer continued. “As with any contract, the benefits of that contract go to the estate, and the estate will be distributed according to the will of the deceased.”

Though rare, a gambler dying after winning big isn’t unprecedented. For some, the thrill of striking it rich is simply too much for their body and heart to handle.

In 2002, a player at Harrah’s in Atlantic City won a $10K slot jackpot. Just moments after receiving $5,000 in cash and a $5,000 check, the 61-year-old suffered a heart attack while seated at a casino lounge and was later pronounced dead.

Death After Loss

A much more common occurrence is gamblers dying after losing big, often by suicide. Among the most notorious tales is the story of “The Suitcase Man.”

On Sept. 24, 1980, just days after his gay lover broke up with him, William Lee Bergstrom took out several loans and went to the Binion’s Horseshoe Casino in downtown Las Vegas. He risked $777K, or about $2.9 million in today’s money, on the Don’t Pass line on a craps table. Bergstrom later said he planned to commit suicide if the bet lost. The bet won, however, and Bergstrom traveled the world over the next four years.

He returned to Las Vegas on March 24, 1984, with another suitcase full of cash. He placed a $538K bet ($1.6 million in today’s money) on the Don’t Pass line and again won. Bergstrom returned to Binion’s that November and placed a $1 million ($3.6 million) wager that lost.

Bergstrom never recovered from the loss and committed suicide by ingesting pills on Feb. 4, 1985. He was 33 years old.