Australian casino hit by ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ heist

A gambler infiltrated the casino's surveillance system to pull-off a USD 33 million fraud.

Written by PTI | Melbourne | Published: March 15, 2013 3:48:19 pm

In an Ocean’s eleven style-heist,a foreign gambler infiltrated Australia’s biggest casino’s surveillance system to spy on other player’s cards and pulled-off a USD 33 million fraud.

The foreign high roller who was staying at Crown Casino here,has been implicated in the case,for which the venue’s security cameras were used to spy on players cards. A staff member has also been entangled in the colossal Ocean’s 11-style theft.

The cheat was exposed over eight hands of cards played in a short space of time,the Herald Sun reported.

Police have been called in to investigate the fraud,believed to be the biggest perpetrated on the casino since it opened 19 years ago.

The high roller was booted out of a villa at Crown Towers in the dead of night after the scam was uncovered several weeks ago. He had been staying there with his family.

Described by one source as a “whale”,(a gambler who wins and loses huge amounts) he was sent a notice,withdrawing his license and prohibiting him from entering the Southbank complex. It is believed that he has since returned to his home country.

A VIP services manager who is believed to have been assigned to look after the high roller during his time at Crown has been sacked.

The paper said that remote access to the venue’s security system was given to an unauthorised 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. Sources said the total stolen amount was USD 33 million.

The cameras at Crown are state-of-the-art,high-resolution technology. They are capable of transmitting the most intricate detail of goings-on inside the building.

“Crown’s surveillance department recently reported concerns over a sophisticated betting scam. An investigation is under way,” a spokesman for the casino said.

In the 2001 comedy-crime caper Brad Pitt and George Clooney also recruit someone familiar with security to rob a series of Las Vegas casinos.

The spokesman confirmed one patron’s licence has been revoked.

He added that the Crown was “in a good position to recover a significant portion of the amount involved in the scam”.

“Crown has been liaising with both the police and the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation regarding these matters,” he said.

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