Dana White recounts ridiculous story behind $3 million gambling loss

Dana White wins more than he loses, but there’s one big money setback in Las Vegas that he’ll never forget.

During an appearance on the Lex Fridman podcast, White was asked to recall the biggest gambling loss that he’d ever suffered and the UFC CEO instantly recalled an evening where too many drinks led to a seven-figure hit to his bank account.

“I would call this the biggest loss for many different reasons,” White said. “You live and you learn in life, you figure things out as you go along. One night I’m over at the Rio and they’ve got big suites over there, so I go over there with some buddies and we got one of the suites and we have some dinner and we start drinking. So we’re having some drinks, dinner, and blah blah blah. It starts to ramp up, I’m having a good time and I make my way down to the high limit room and we start gambling. I continue to drink, having a blast, I end up leaving to go home that night and I lost, like, 80 grand.

“So I wake up the next morning, I’m like, ‘F***. Those m*********** got me for 80,000 last night.’ So I’m at work the next day and the host over there calls me and he says, ‘Hey Dana, are you coming back? Do you still need the room that you guys had where you ate and all that s***?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t need the room, but don’t get too comfortable with my f****** 80 grand, I’m coming back for it.’ Dead f****** silence on the other end of the phone.

“And he’s like, ‘Dana. You lost $3 million last night.”

White, ever the combatant whether in business or in his personal life, questioned the $3 million figure especially since he knew there were limits set on how much of his riches he could drop at that particular casino.

Unfortunately for White, his famously forceful personality worked against him this time.

“‘What the f*** are you talking about?’” White said. “‘I only have a million-and-a-half dollar credit line.’

“He goes, ‘Yeah, you made us call the GM of the hotel and you started calling him ‘a f****** p****’ and I went, ‘Yeah, no, that sounds like something I would do.”

So White had to eat the loss, a drop in the water for the wildly successful combat sports executive who has had plenty of wins in Las Vegas as well. Still, the mistake stung and it’s one that White learned a valuable lesson from.

“You know, there’s been a lot of cases where people are in Vegas and they’re like, ‘I lost all this money. They were giving me free drinks and I drank too much and I was taken advantage of,’” White said. “No, you stupid m***********, man up, you got f****** drunk. Alcohol is free, but you don’t have to f****** drink it.

“This was a huge learning lesson for me, so I never drank again when I was playing cards after that night.”