re: Poker & Real Oceans Eleven: Crown Casino Victim of $33 Mil
We really couldn't believe this story was true when we first read it. The Crown Casino
in Melbourne, Australia
, home of the annual Aussie Millions and a variety of other high-stakes poker tournaments throughout the year, was the victim of a high-tech scam that cost it a reported $33 million.
We'll let Australia's Herald Sun newspaper sum up the misgivings: "Remote access to the venue's security system was given to an unauthorized person
. Images relayed from cameras were then used to spy on a top-level gaming area where the high roller was playing. Signals were given to him on how he should bet based on the advice of someone viewing the camera feeds." An earpiece was used to relay the information among the individuals involved.
Crown officials identified the main culprit, according to MSN and CNBC: "They said the thief has been identified in their surveillance footage and banned from their casinos
. They also said a member of the casino's VIP staff who was assigned to look after the gambler has been dismissed, but they did not say if the staff member was involved in the heist." Despite the high-tech heist, Crown officials have said they expect to recover much of the stolen money, although whether that will actually occur remains to be seen.
The team at the Crown apparently picked up on the problem "over eight hands of cards played in a short space of time
," according to multiple reports. What casino game was involved and whether more than one person perpetrated the stealing were not clear.
Did casino officials not pick up on $33 million in bets? Did the large amounts won over what could have been a truncated period of time not send up red flags? Linda Han****, who has written a book on the Crown, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, "They're bringing these people in, especially from Asia, they're bringing premium players in. It's not uncommon for these big whales to be betting those sorts of amounts
According to the same news source, the main thief has fled Australia and is now banned for life from the Crown Casino. One expert told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he wasn't too optimistic about the money being recovered: "I'm pretty confident that unless they were holding some of the money in safekeeping for say AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center) for tracking that once they got the punter off of their property, chances are zero that they'll get any money back that's in his possession
By: Dan Cypra
Published on Mar 17th, 2013