Over the years we have settled high value gaming disputes in Asia with many extremely difficult individuals. Most of these Asian ‘high rollers’ are extremely successful in their personal lives, and are used to winning everything. However, in the casino as we all know, everyone loses. The relationship between losing money and anger is an especially close one, and often results in extreme behavior. Passions run hard and fast on the casino floor.

There was an especially difficult player/junket operator we used to have to deal with. Whenever there was any dispute, be it because the waitress spilled some cocktail, the dealer did not expose the Baccarat cards as directed, or because a Roulette ball floated on the wheel, this guy was in our faces.

The dispute didn’t even have to involve him or his players. He always made it a point to jump in, make irrational and outrageous demands, and shout dire threats at our executives and staff. Many a small matter was made into a major problem when he intervened. His participation would often cause everyone involved to ‘lose face.’ He made several disputes virtually unsolvable, without losing the customer. Eventually however, fate finally dealt him ‘aces and eights.’ He died, of lead poisoning.

He was riding a taxi in Bangkok with a close friend. Eventually some persons, who presumably didn’t agree with his aggressive and anti-Thai attitude for life, opened up with machine guns. Mr. Irascible was hit 17 times by the unknown shooters. Many disputed debts quickly became uncollectible.

Surprisingly, despite a short but intensive investigation, the police came up with no suspects. It was rumored that the police actually ate the area vendors completely out of kow pad kai (fried chicken rice) during the course of the investigation, so you know they put in the effort. They may even have eaten the clues necessary to solve this downtown Bangkok murder that took place in broad daylight.

His friend and the taxi driver were splattered all over the cab also. All died. The taxi meter read 335 Baht, or about US$8.80. The price of the unfortunate taxi driver’s life.

Nobody at the casino cried.