One of the most regularly saluted pieces of information surrounding Leicester City’s surprise Premier League title success this season was that the champions could be bet on at 5,000/1 to finish top of the table before the campaign began back in August.
Such a jackpot for a small outlay may tempt some casino goers to dabble in the world of sports betting, but it is worth noting that any gamblers to place such a wager had to wait nine months to get paid.
Visiting a casino offers the potential for more instant gratification and immediate reward.
Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha stated after the club’s promotion to the Premier League in 2014 that his aim was to have Leicester finishing in the top five in the near future, after initially stabilising in the highest division.
He said: “It will take a huge amount of money, possibly £180m, to get there. That doesn’t put us off. I am asking for three years, and we’ll be there.”
Leicester clearly trumped the chairman’s initial plan by not only finishing in the first five, but winning the league, while doing so with an outlay less than a third of what was initially put aside.
The combined cost of the title-winning squad was just £57m, which is remarkable against the average of the previous five champions – £291.7m.
Understandably then, Srivaddhanaprabha had not only saved millions, but also made far more than he would have anticipated, with the club set to gain all of the extra revenue attached to qualifying for the next Champions League.
It’s fair to say that the billionaire had extra reason to treat himself to a visit to a casino, where his successful month of May was to get even better.
Leicester’s casino visit
Among the promises made to the successful squad were a brand new Mercedes each and a share of a £6.5m windfall. On top of that, each player was given £10,000 to spend inside a casino, as a combination of chips and cash.
The chairman himself had some casino activity planned of his own, with newspaper reports indicating that he enjoyed himself at the card tables with friends. The end result was allegedly that he left £2.5m richer.
Some people clearly get all of the luck and considering good things are believed to come in threes, there is every possibility that another significant payday is on the horizon.
Not that Srivaddhanaprabha had any intention to stick all of his profits on red or black on the roulette wheels. Instead, he donated £2m to support the building of a new children’s hospital in Leicester.
As for the Leicester players, it is unknown what they decided to do with their donated chips. Here were some options at their disposal:
Use them to gain a free comp
Not that Leicester’s players are hard up after their title-winning season, but numerous wealthy celebrities still enjoy the ability to gain free stuff. It has previously been suggested that an A-list celebrity on average receives $100,000 in free goods and services on an annual basis.
Casinos generally jump at the chance to offer comps to apparent high rollers, so putting down a £10,000 marker to show some gambling intent would have gone a considerable way in some venues to receiving a free room for the night, some top nosh or tickets to an in-demand event.
Chase the single biggest windfall
As this £10,000 could potentially be classified as free money, some may look to turn it into the highest amount possible.
The straight up bet is the biggest payday on offer on a roulette wheel, although the 35/1 odds of victory are still considerably less than Leicester’s to win the Premier League.
Still, turning £10,000 into £360,000 is still a bumper pay packet and easily more than a month’s salary for the majority of footballers.
If the players wanted some good publicity from such a win, they could have always followed their chairman in making a charitable donation.
Keep it as a memento
The players would evidently have their Premier League winner’s medals to mark their title win, but there’s always room for additional memorabilia to remember the event.
It is not uncommon for big casino winners to trouser at least one of their winning chips to serve as a memory of a successful night.