Thursday, January 28, 2010

Singapore Casinos Set up "Elite" Casino Police Force to Deter Cheating in their New Casinos. Is It Really Elite?

Highly doubtful. After reading this "Asian One" news article by Rach Chan, I don't think skilled casino-cheat teams are going to have much of a problem or worry getting off in Singapore's two new giant multi-billion-dollar casinos, one of which, Resorts World, opened yesterday. I think casino cheating records are likely to be set in 2010, as Resorts World and the Sands, the second casino giant, combine for the biggest single-year dual-casino opening in history. These casinos will be blitzed not only by the best professional cheat teams but also by the run of the mill teams and, of course, the card counters and advantage players. This first frontal attack will last the entire year. To date I have not received any calls from either casino to train their staffs...I wonder why?


"Watch out, crooks, the casino police are eyeing you. With the opening of two integrated resorts (IRs) this year, an elite police department has been set up to deal with casino-related crimes. Some 20 to 30 experienced officers were specially picked to familiarise themselves with casino games, and learn to detect fraud and scams - with the help of overseas experts - for their roles in the Casino Crime Investigation Branch (CCIB).
The plain-clothes officers will be stationed within a satellite office in each IR. The office is shared with the Casino Regulatory Authority. While they do not patrol the premises, CCIB's location enables them to respond swiftly, should they need to investigate casino crimes.

CCIB comes under the umbrella of the Specialised Crime Division of the Criminal Investigation Department, and has the power to prosecute offenders under the Casino Control Act. "Left to themselves, casinos naturally invite vice, loan sharking, drug dealing, money laundering, theft, fraud (and) cheating, and are bright shiny targets for organised crime," said Acting Commissioner of Police Ng Joo Hee in his opening address at CCIB's launch at the Police Cantonment Complex yesterday.

The Singapore Police Force has spent the past five years "quietly - but methodically - learning, planning and preparing", and has adopted the best practices from international jurisdictions, he added. CCIB head Michael Ang, 40, explained the need for such a task force: Police officers need specialised skills to nab offenders in this arena. "How many people in Singapore understand what gaming is all about? If you ask a general investigator to do it, I think there'll be a problem," he told reporters.

CCIB officers mostly have three years of investigation experience before joining the branch, and already have dealt with secret societies or gaming offenders in their line of work in CID. Superintendent Ang said: "We don't expect syndicated crime at this point of time." Operational since last July, CCIB has been training its officers and formulating protocol for casino-crime probes.

A gaming-simulation room, with fruit machines and tables for baccarat and roulette, has been set up. The CCIB is also buying two casino gambling tables, one for blackjack and the other for roulette. It will also leverage on databases and other electronic systems to facilitate the management of information pertaining to "persons of interest".

When contacted, a Resorts World Sentosa spokesman said: "We work closely with the CRA in the regulation of gaming activities on the floor and look forward to working with CCIB on our premises."