Meet the five biggest gamblers in Australia: The legends of Australian gambling

Gambling has seen a significant rise in popularity in Australia, with an increasing number of real-money online casinos emerging to meet the demand of players. While many Australians do gamble, only a select few have truly excelled and have earned a small fortune along the way with a combination of luck and skill. has highlighted the five most successful Australian gamblers who are in a league of their own. In this article, we will shine a spotlight on these celebrities in the Australian gambling scene.

Alan Woods

Alan Woods was a highly innovative Australian gambler, mathematician, and global sports betting hero who died in 2008 in Hong Kong with a net worth of over $670 million. In the early 1970s, Woods began gambling in college at local casinos such as the Australian Rich Palms casino in New South Wales. Despite the fact that he primarily bet on blackjack, his interest in horse racing grew quickly. His mathematical understanding gave him an edge in casino games, leading to his continued success. However, the spectacle in his horse racing victories is that he barely saw any of the races. Alan collaborated with Bill Benter, a fellow gambler, and avid mathematician, to develop gambling algorithms that decided the winning horse by considering, among other things, form, weather, horse physique, and track. Woods is also renowned for his charitable contributions to mental health research, schools, orphanages, and hospitals.

Kerry Packer

Kerry Packer’s gambling passion began in the 1970s when he inherited approximately $100 million from his father, who had substantially invested in casinos. His gambling approach was to use casino assets to multiply his inherited money. Packer was an expert in horse racing and cricket betting but also dabbled in television. Packer was also a corporate risk-taker. He once sold his father’s business, the Nine Network television network, for a billion dollars and then repurchased it three years later for a quarter of the price after the new owners ran out of finances. Packer’s primary source of revenue was the television network Nine Network. 1990, one of his biggest gambling losses exceeded $28 million in a single month. He later won $33 million playing card and table games at the MGM Grand Casino. On the other hand, his legacy victory came in 20 minutes after he wagered $155,000 on each hand and won 20 cards for $100,000 each. Kerry Packer died in December 2005 at the age of 68, leaving his son James Packer with an over $7 billion estate, making him one of the world’s wealthiest casino owners.

Lloyd Williams

Lloyd Williams, a close friend of Kerry Packer, founded the Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex in Melbourne in 1994. He traded property with Kerry Packer’s family and, after Packer’s death, co-managed Packer’s estate with David Gonski. Williams began playing poker while studying in Paris but eventually switched to horse racing. He has the record for four Melbourne Cup victories in horse racing. He is now one of Australia’s wealthiest racehorse owners. Lloyd also established The Star Sydney in Pyrmont, Sydney, the continent’s second-largest casino.

David Walsh 

The Museum of Old and New Art’s owner, David Walsh, is a professional gambler, businessman, and art curator. His mathematical and computer science abilities gave him an advantage at gambling, which led to his success. He was close to Zeljko, one of Australia’s most successful gamblers, whom he met at a casino. They collaborated to create an algorithm that predicts the winning horse in races. Walsh and Zeljko lead the world’s largest gambling syndicate. It is rumored that he executed the greatest wager of his life and won over $60 million in a German lottery.

Zeljko Ranogajec

Zeljko is an enigmatic gambler who keeps his gains and techniques hidden. He is also one of the world’s most well-known horse racing bettors. Zeljko worked part-time at Wrest Point Casino, counting cards in blackjack while studying Commerce and Law at the University of Tasmania. Blackjack is a game played all over the world and is one of the most popular casino games in Latin America however Ranogajec took this game to a whole new level. He has earned up to $7.5 million, making him one of the most successful gamblers down under. Zeljko is a risk-taker who dropped out of school to pursue a career as a professional gambler. Consecutive high-stakes wins got him barred from casinos like Jupiter’s Gold Coast and Wrest Point. In 2011, Zeljko was formally inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame.

Final word

These remarkable figures, with their blend of intelligence, expertise, and boldness, have redefined the game’s landscape. Whether it’s using mathematical formulas, excelling in horse racing, embracing business risks, or securing iconic victories, these five stand as the epitome of Australian gambling prowess. Their stories offer both warnings and motivation for those looking to follow in their footsteps.