A casino in Melbourne, Australia is hoping to recuperate their losses, after a high-stakes card player scammed them out of millions of dollars before being caught. The scam took advantage of the Crown Towers’ camera system, which was compromised during the heist.
The player, whose name has not been released, has been described as a foreigner and was treated as a VIP player (whale) due to his high-volume playing habits. In a casino, a whale is a player who thinks nothing of betting and losing millions of dollars in a single hand. Often they are treated as royalty by the casino, which will trade freebies and comps to the player in exchange for them spending time (and money) at the tables.
In this case, the Crown casino security cameras were turned inward, and the high-stakes poker game wasn’t as risky when the unknown cheater’s crew used the HD images to read the other players’ cards and signal when to hold and when to fold. After eight hands, the player was busted, but not before $32 million was stolen.
It has been assumed that the cheater went back to his country when Crown served him with notice and busted him, however at that point the damage had been done. The Crown casino staffer assigned to the cheater was fired, and the casino is still investigating how the CCTV system was compromised. The Herald Sun, which broke the story, hinted that an insider provided remote access to the system, citing sources familiar with the investigation.
For their part, Crown casino is hopeful that the stolen funds can be recovered.