The Story of Donald Trump Nearly Made Bankrupt by the Action of Japanese Gamblers

Atlantic City - January 1992, a Japanese billionaire Akio Kashiwagi was found dead in his magnificent house near Mount Fuji. The findings at the crime scene were terrible, blood splattered on the wallcoverings of his house.

The 54-year-old man was stabbed 150 times. The investigation said, the weapon used by the perpetrators was a typical samurai sword.

The Story of Donald Trump Nearly Made Bankrupt by the Action of Japanese Gamblers
Donald Trump


The crime that is now still a mystery has never been resolved, even though the clues point to Japanese Yakuza - a popular terminology for organized crime groups there.

However, behind the mystery of his murder case, another story surfaced. Despite the fact that Kashiwagi is fond of gambling, he apparently has debts of up to tens of billions of dollars to casinos in the United States.

One of his debts is to the casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, which is owned by Donald Trump , where the two men know each other in the world of gambling. And at one point, their relationship in gambling almost put the president of the United States bankrupt ...


When the Kashiwagi murder case surfaced in 1992, The New York Times reported that the Japanese property tycoon owed the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino US $ 4 million.

The story of Akio Kashiwagi, taken from Donald Trump's memoirs and news accounts from that day, offers another side of Trump that is publicly known. This shows that Trump is not just a casino owner - he is also an impulsive gambler and sometimes careless in betting.

In The Art of the Comeback, published in 1997, Trump explained that until he met Kashiwagi, he saw himself as an investor who only dealt with facts and reasons. But his duel with 'the big whale' (nickname for a high-class gambler) from Japan made him realize "that I have become a gambler, something I had never thought of before," as quoted by POLITICO , Sunday (1/3/2020) .

Trump addiction. When his gambling failed, he did not stop. Precisely the eccentric billionaire doubled the bet. But he did it cleverly, calling in a former RAND Corporation mathematician to devise a plan that would maximize his chances of tricking his Japanese rival.

And it works. Least. In Trump's memory, which he told in the book 'The Comeback', his fight with Kashiwagi was one of his many victories.

Before Donald Trump plunged into the world of gambling, Kashiwagi had already become a seasoned baccarat player - a variety of card games similar to blackjack. His reputation in the gambling world at the game surpassed his name in the property world.

The Nippon man is known for making big bets. One round of the game, with a light hand can throw a chip worth a total of US $ 250,000 to the city.

Trump first heard about Kashiwagi from the late Sir James Goldsmith, a financier and owner of European casinos. From GOldsmith, Trump heard that Kashiwagi won almost US $ 20 million at the Goldsmith's Diamond Beach casino in Australia. His victory almost bankrupted the kasiona.

However, like a gambler, Kashiwagi also lost. US $ 6 million disappeared in a baccarat game at Steve Wynn Mirage in Las Vegas.

However, Kashiwagi's determination to gamble "became the kind of publicity that Trump was looking for," said John O'Donell, Trump's casino manager in Atlantic City at the time.

Kashiwagi "could push Trump Plaza into an entirely new realm of action," O'Donnell continued.

But Kashiwagi's arrival at Trump Plaza a few years before the Japanese property tycoon was killed actually made the eccentric billionaire lose money.

"From the first round, Kashiwagi has begun to defeat us," Trump wrote in his biography, 'The Art of the Comeback'.

"What am I doing? I ask myself," he wrote. "Cash flow is down, and I'm playing with a man who can win $ 40 or $ 50 million in a few days."

Trump realized, this could make him out of business.

Every casino game has an innate advantage for home. But Trump became worried when he understood the fact that baccarat offered a relatively small advantage to the city.

"At that moment I realized for the first time that I had become a gambler," Trump wrote.

"But this has nothing to do with logic or reason. I just sat on the sidelines watching one of the best gamblers in the world play against me for US $ 250,000 per round, seventy times per hour."

Trump is worried. He called the casino office late at night to check the cash ledgers. At that time he understood that he had lost US $ 4 million and would soon multiply to make his casino threatened bankrupt. Kashiwagi has so many chips that he has to stack them on the floor.

At the end of the game, after a number of winning episodes and losses, Kashiwagi pocketed US $ 6 million from Trump casino!

Trump's revenge
Cancel Implanted, Donald Trump Smiles
President Donald Trump raised a newspaper with the headline that read "Trump was released" during the victory celebration, one day after his impeachment efforts were canceled in the East Room of the White House, Washington (6/2/2020). (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)
Do not want to lose money just like that, Trump began to rack my brain. He had two plans: to invite Kashigawa back to gamble in his place in Atlantic City; and hired a mathematical opportunity analyst from the giant think tank RAND Corp.

Trump consulted with Jess Marcum, a mathematical probability expert who had been an early employee of RAND Corporation on how to maximize his chances in the second battle with Kashiwagi.

Marcum and an Atlantic City casino man named Al Glasgow prepared a report for Trump proposing a "freeze" agreement. Under the agreement, Kashiwagi will bring US $ 12 million to the gambling table and play until he multiplies - or loses everything. Even with big bets, it will take a long time.

Marcum simulated the match in a detailed handwritten note. Kashiwagi may have jumped faster, he estimates, but after 75 hours on the table - far longer than he played the first time - his chances of winning will drop to 15 percent.

That means, Trump can return from previous losses. Even the chance to profit.

Kashiwagi finally returned to Trump Plaza in May 1991. And once again, his Japanese rivals achieved an early winning streak.

However, Trump's luck changed suddenly, as Marcum predicted. After six days, Trump made a profit of US $ 10 million, which meant he had won back US $ 6 million from Kashiwagi's victory a few months earlier plus a profit of US $ 4 million.

In the end, Kashiwagi gave up. He left angrily, even leaving a debt that must be paid to

Trump doesn't care, even though they both know him well before.

However, the debt finally evaporated. The three Trump casinos in Atlantic City eventually went bankrupt in 1992, while Akio Kashiwagi was killed in early January that year.

"One day he really lost it," Trump wrote. "He ran out to get away from the two television cameras peering into his window. He tripped on the sidewalk and broke his ankle. The driver pulled him into his black Mercedes and left. "

"Kashiwagi hid and was never seen again until his body was found mutilated by a samurai sword," Trump continued. "They never caught the killers."

In a statement to POLITICO , Trump expressed his respect for Kashiwagi (though there is no remorse for his death). "I love our game with him," Trump said.

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