Cheating, fraud, and theft are genuine problems for the gambling industry in Las Vegas. There’s all kinds of crimes committed in Sin City. Often they involve a casino. The crimes in casinos range from a Three Stooges type farce to something worthy of Bugsy Siegel’s approval.
Recently thousands of insiders gathered at Global Gaming Expo (G2E) to connect and gain some knowledge regarding the gaming industry’s newest trends.
James Taylor — Nevada’s Gaming Control Board Deputy Chief — talked about all three and the con artists that make up the cheaters, fraudsters, and thieves.
Taylor framed his talk to inform the crowd about the deceptive inclinations the Board has recognized and acquaint audience members with a few of the cons they may face.
Lessons in Stupidity
Zhenli Ye Gon was a high roller from Mexico City. In 2007, Mexican authorities teamed up with America’s Drug Enforcement Administration and raided his hacienda. The law enforcement guys dug out over $200 million which Gon had hidden in the brickwork of his luxury home. Gon had been accused of furnishing Mexican drug cartels with the ingredients to make meth. Gon ran a one-stop-shop of sorts; he also laundered the money for the same cartels.
How does this connect to Vegas?
“The man was residing at the Venetian,” Taylor told attendees. “Watching his activities, we determined he purchased a house with laundered money. We took his residence and his car and documented a $120 million loss he incurred at several casinos.”
No Always Spectacular
Gaming violations aren’t always international or striking.
One case Taylor talked about was a suspect who distracted customers while they collected winnings from ticket-in-ticket-out kiosks in various casinos. Taylor showed a video of the perpetrator diverting a patron’s attention with one hand while seizing the client’s TITO card with the other.
Authorities added the suspect to the List of Excluded Persons.
Sophistication is Mercurial
The level of required refinement varies. When raiding one cheats’ Las Vegas residence, investigators discovered playing cards imprinted with ink that could only be detected by a person wearing distinctive contact lenses.
In another example, Taylor displayed a security monitor screen capture of an individual wiggling through a casino cage with a security guard standing right there. The guard was clueless, and the thief got away.
Maybe the casino cage thief put stock in Kelly Oliver’s words:
“Little thieves get shot, but great ones escape.”