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Monday, 24 January 2011

Magpie turned red

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has reportedly blown £1 million in two hours during a trip to a casino

The Sun claims that the Magpies owner - who has built up an estimated £890m fortune through a chain of sporting goods shops - lost the cash at Aspers Casino, less than a quarter of a mile from St James' Park.

The incredible losses came during a night out with Newcastle manager Alan Pardew and club MD Derek Llambias, a result of Ashley suffering a bad run at the craps table after enjoying an early winning run.

"After a couple of hours he was £130,000 up," a source told The Sun. "They had a break and went to the bar for a drink. He put £100,000 into his casino account but kept £30,000 back in a carrier bag.

"At around 2am they were back at the craps table and Ashley started playing again.

"He was placing bets all over with £1,000 and £5,000 chips. It only took him about 10 minutes to lose that first £30,000, so he had to get some more chips. He bet thousands at a time, tens of thousands sometimes - covering the table with bets.

"They finally left at 4am and by that time he had lost £970,000. It was amazing but he didn't seem bothered at all. He had a smile on his face and tipped the dealer £700, which is astonishing really because people usually only give a tip if they've won."

Ashley is famed for his love of gambling, and became close friends with recently-appointed Magpies boss Pardew when they were regulars at an exclusive London casino - an enterprise run by Llambias.