The casinos gave him a 20 percent discount on his losses and slightly more favorable house rules. With the unstable conditions in the Atlantic City gaming market, many casinos are offering deals like this to known high rollers. Johnson played up to $100,000 a hand.
However, this arrangement didn’t last forever. The Tropicana took the deal off the table after he won $5.8 million, the Borgata cut him off at $5 million, and Caesars cut him off at $4 million.
Author of “Blackjack: Take the Money and Run” Henry Tamburin said that a 20 percent discount was very generous and generally unheard of.
“A 20 percent discount?” asked Tamburin , “if that’s true, and you’re only losing only $8 out of every $10 you bet, you’ve already got an edge if you just keep banging away. All you’d have to do it bet at high levels and use basic strategy.”
It was obviously a bad deal for the house. In fact, May 2011 was the first time since 1978, when casinos opened in Atlantic City, that a gambling house lost money at the game of blackjack over a particular month.