The Player: Secrets of a Vegas whale features a high-stakes black jack player, Don Johnson, who has made millions exploiting the weaknesses of casinos. The documentary explores the gambling industry—how casinos make and lose money, how gambling has changed, and where the future of Vegas is headed. It also offers insight into what it takes to beat the house and what happens if you do.

To think about – or discuss with a friend

  • Who are the real gamblers? Whales like Don Johnson? Owners like Steve Wynn? Or the thousands of tourists who flock to Vegas?
  • The average gambler is going to lose 20% of every dollar they play. What is it the casinos are selling to make people willing to play?
  • What are the qualities and skills that Don Johnson has that have allowed him to win and win big?
  • Throughout the video, comparisons are made between Vegas and Wall Street. In what ways are these comparisons valid? Are there differences?
  • What was the most intriguing thing you learned from this documentary?