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By The Hollywood Reporter - How the $100 Million NYPD Blue Creator Gambled Away His Fortune
7:53:00 PM
David Milch Made $100M and Gambled Away His Fortune:

"Most gamblers limit themselves to modest amounts, and the average American wagers only a few hundred dollars a year. But a small percentage risk everything. Their habit has cost them pain, suffering, embarrassment and debt. They've lost houses, property, friendships, dignity, self-respect, the faith of others and perhaps their faith in themselves. They are addicts.

David Milch is one of them.

Milch, 70, is a four-time Emmy-winning writer-producer who co-created the classic series NYPD Blue and HBO's acclaimed Deadwood. A former English literature professor at Yale, he is known for his cerebral and unorthodox approach to writing, for the profanity of his dialogue and the precision of his plots, for elevating the very possibilities of the once-maligned medium in which he works.

For the past few years, he has been based in an exclusive deal at HBO and is in negotiations to renew it. He is working on an adaptation of Peter Matthiessen's novel Shadow Country, with Jeff Bridges attached to star as 19th century outlaw Edgar "Bloody" Watson. He also is devel­oping a two-hour TV movie version of Deadwood. He has admirers and fans across the spectrum of the television world, though he has not had a successful show since Deadwood ended in 2006.

"We have always felt very lucky to have had David in our family," says HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler. "It is obvious to everyone that he is a preternatural talent. What might be less obvious, because he doesn't ever talk about it, is how much time and energy he spends mentoring young writers. I think it speaks volumes about him and reflects his decency and generosity, which is one of the reasons all of us at HBO love him. Over many years, I've watched him treat everyone throughout the company with enormous respect, no matter what their title. He takes time to show his appreciation to everyone. It's why he has so many fans all throughout HBO."

Judging from the accounts of several men and women who know him well, he is a person of extreme talent but also extreme behavior. Now a lawsuit, which was filed last year and is proceeding in Los Angeles Superior Court in Santa Monica, indicates that he lost $25 million from gambling between 2000 and 2011 alone. Colleagues estimate he has earned more than $100 million across his three-decade Hollywood career, but the lawsuit reveals he is left with $17 million in debts."
--end quote



11:04:04 AM
Some thoughts the day after reading the article...


Back in 2010 I was attending a face to face meeting with upper management from Santa Anita and representatives from the TOC (Thoroughbred Owners of California.)

The topic of discussion was takeout.

I was the only one in the room arguing for lower takeout - that raising it would result in lower handle and revenue.

Everyone else thought takeout needed to be higher - because raising it would have zero effect on handle.

At one point someone said: "David Milch doesn't care what the takeout is," and everyone there (except me) had a good laugh.

I didn't get his joke that afternoon (I'm thinking now) because I wasn't privy to the real meaning behind what he was driving at.

But it finally clicked for me some six years later (yesterday) after reading the article.

And I don't find his comment the least bit funny now.


Santa Anita track management has no business whatsoever talking about the personal lives of individual players in their VIP room.

Would a casino have answered questions from a reporter about one of their whales?

Methinks not. (At least not without getting permission from the player first.)




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