He Made a Living Losing $300K at the Slots Last Year
Brian Christopher makes a living by losing money, and a lot of it—$300,000 last year. The California man is part of what Katherine Sayre, writing in the Wall Street Journal, terms a "new class of niche celebrities:" People who play slot machines in casinos with the cameras rolling, narrating and livestreaming their experiences to audiences at home. The trick is to "make them feel like they're sitting there beside you," Christopher says. "It's not, 'I won a jackpot.' It's, 'we just won a jackpot.'" Hundreds of thousands of people tuned in to Facebook and YouTube to watch Christopher play last year—he has about 1.3 million followers/subscribers across the platforms—an audience big enough to justify the 10 employees who work for him.
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He wouldn't tell Sayre how much he made last year, but he did confirm he made a profit even after paying those employees and sacrificing $300,000 at the slots. What's the appeal? "It's fun to watch somebody else play with their money while you're sitting on your couch drinking a beer," said one 60-year-old Virginia man who does visit casinos but also likes watching Christopher online.
The revenue Christopher rakes in doesn't just come from those online eyeballs, though. A partnership struck with Carnival Cruise Line last September (he's their "exclusive slots influencer") offers up to 650 fans the chance to vacation and gamble with him in onboard casinos; he has eight such trips scheduled for next year. He even has a branded slot machine that utters some of his signature catchphrases (among them: "Line it up!" and "How rude!") that outperformed casino floor averages shortly after its 2022 debut, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (Read more gambling stories.)