Australian Casino Loses $33 Million in ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ Scam

A high stakes gambler at the Crown Casino in Melbourne is said to have fraudulently won the money over eight hands of cards.

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Chantal Steyn / GETTY

The Crown Casino, seen from the bridge over Melbourne's Yarra river.

An Ocean’s Eleven-style heist has left Australia’s largest casino $32 million Australian dollars (about $33.2 million) out of pocket.

A foreign high stakes gambler at the Crown Casino in Melbourne is said to have fraudulently won the money over eight hands of cards played within a short space of time, reports the Melbourne Herald Sun.

An unauthorized person managed to gain remote access to the venue’s security system, writes the Herald Sun – a ruse that echoes the 2001 movie Ocean’s Eleven, in which characters played by George Clooney and Brad Pitt recruit a gang of con men, safecrackers and security experts to rob a number of Las Vegas casinos.

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The Crown Casino’s cameras, which use high-resolution technology capable of transmitting in very fine detail, were then used to spy on a VIP “high roller’s room” where the alleged fraudster was playing. The accomplice viewing the camera feeds then advised him, via some kind of hidden signal, how he should bet, explains the Herald Sun.

When the scam was uncovered several weeks ago, the accused was ejected from a villa at the casino complex, where he had been staying with his family, in the middle of the night. He is now believed to have returned to his home country.

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A staff member from the VIP area has been fired, adds the Herald Sun.

U.S. gambling expert Barron Stringfellow told ABC Melbourne that accessing a casino’s internal video monitoring system is “not as hard as you would think”.

“It’s very easy to intercept a signal from many casinos that don’t take precautions,” he said.

Police have been called in to investigate the fraud, although the casino had not made a formal complaint, as the Herald Sun reports. Crown Casino believes it could recover a significant portion of the money, according to Agence France Presse.

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7 comments
mrbofus
mrbofus

How is this anything like "Ocean's 11"?  They didn't break into a vault to steal cash.  And how is the casino out $33 million?  The guy wasn't playing the casino in a poker game.  Don't casinos usually just take a percentage of the pot for poker games?  So it wouldn't matter what was being bet or who won or lost, since the casino would get money either way, right?  What am I missing?

boguem
boguem

@mrbofus You're missing the fact that it likely wasn't a poker game.  The article just states he was playing "cards".  No clue what flavor.

mrbofus
mrbofus

@theyell @mrbofus Hopefully this one was a little bit more high-tech than a girl sitting across the street with binoculars...=P