Saturday, April 05, 2008

Macau Cigarette Casino Cheat Scam!


Those of you who often read my blog or surf my website probably know about the famous French Cigarette Scam that happened at the Casino Deauville in 1973 and is featured on my Scam of the Month page. I had thought that this great scam would surely be the one and only major casino scam pulled off with a pack of cigarettes! I was right--until last week, that is. In one of the major casinos in Macao (I don't know which one because I can't read the Chinese from the newswire), a doozy of a casino scam was pulled off using a pack of cigarettes--and yes they were Marlboros! Just like in the French Cigarette Scam 35 years ago. This time it happened in the high rollers VIP Baccarat Room. A certain Chinese ultra-high roller (UHR) was wagering HK$400,000 (Hong Kong Dollars) per hand. That's approximately US$52,000. Two skilled casino cheats posing as high rollers sat on either side of the UHR, also betting high, albeit much less than he. When the UHR got on the Bank and hit a hot streak, the two casino cheats began taking turns tapping his growing stacks of HK$100,000 chips (US$13,000) with their respective cigarette packs in a gesture of good luck. The UHR seemed to like the gesture as his mountain of chips kept getting higher and higher each time they tapped it--although not as high as it should have! That's because on the bottom edge of the cheats' cigarette packs there was double sided tape that was extremely adhesive. Each time one of the cheats tapped the UHR's stacks of $13,000 chips, the top chip in the stack found itself stuck to the bottom of the cigarette pack and was immediately peeled off and transferred into one of the cheats' pockets!

A grand scam and one I truly appreciate!

But so did the surveillance room of this Macau casino. As it is standard procedure to observe ultra-high rollers, the surveillance operators were watching this one play fifty-two grand per hand as they were supposed to. They couldn't help but notice the two men on either side of him tapping his chips with their Marlboro packs. But as the UHR didn't seem to mind, neither did they--until one of them spotted one of the cheats peeling something off the bottom of his cigarette pack that looked like...well, a casino chip. They zoomed in their cameras, and then when security swarmed over the cheats and confiscated their cigarette packs, they found twenty-nine HK$100,000 chips in their jacket pockets. That's 372,000 US dollars!

If only they would have gotten away with it! But they didn't...Why? You guessed it: Greed. They should have been happy with ten of those chips or so...but I know it's kind of hard if not impossible to walk away from a scam when the money is rolling in like that...or should I say "when the money is sticking in like that!"