Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Are The Poker and Casino Cheat Teams in Macau Really the Best of the Best?

I have been reading articles stating that Macau's giant Vegas-type casinos are drawing the biggest and best casino cheat and poker cheat professional groups in the world.

Is this true?

In some cases it is and in some it isn't.

It is in the sense that the Macau gambling mecca has become so big with so much action that to draw a large share of the world's professional poker and casino cheat teams is only a matural evolution. There are some excellent casino cheat teams operating consistently in Macau's casinos. There are also, however, the hordes of amateurish poker and casino cheats and those temporary cheats who turn to cheating after taking a big loss gambling legitimately in the casinos. This is especially true in Singapore's two large casinos.

It is important to note that Las Vegas-based Game Protection consultants Sal Piacente and Bill Zender habitually overstate the casino-cheating scene in Macau, especially in relation to cheating at baccarat, for the purpose of convincing Macau's casino bosses that they need to hire Piacente and Zender to combat this. In articles either about Piacente or written by Piacente, you will always hear how just about every single skilled baccarat cheat breathing descends on baccarat tables to cheat the casinos.

Although some indeed do, these statements by Piacente and Zender are highly exaggerated for their own benefits.

Singapore's Ever-Widening Poker and Casino Cheating Problems Now Include Surveillance Eye-In-The-Sky Cheats Cheating Their Own Casinos!

I have written dozens of times about how Singapores two gambling casinos have become the "Foxwoods" of Asia as far as casino cheating and poker cheating go. This not only includes gangs of organized cheats from the outside but literally hordes of crooked casino dealers and other employees, now including surveillance people.

And when surveillance people go bad, the casino can really get hurt.

Source: Jakarta Post

He was the eyes of the casino, monitoring security footage to make sure nothing suspicious was afoot. But video surveillance operator Ho Boon Keat, 29, colluded with four accomplices and cheated Marina Bay Sands out of nearly $150,000.

Now unemployed, the 29-year-old was jailed for three years on Friday.

Court papers state that when Ho was on duty, his accomplices would check out the Sic Bo tables. In this game, three dice are rolled. Gamblers can win up to 180 times their original bet if all three of a certain number appear.

The scam involved an accomplice claiming to have placed a $25 bet after a triple had appeared. The pit manager of the table would call Ho to check video footage for confirmation and Ho would lie and say that the bet had been placed.

As such, he helped to deceive the pit managers 33 times between July 16 and Aug 14 last year so that his alleged accomplices - two of whom are Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) specialists- could pocket the winnings.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kavitha Kandesan had urged the court to impose a four-year jail sentence as this was the first case of a video surveillance operator abusing the trust of his employer by colluding with patrons to cheat the casino.

She also said that Ho had damaged the integrity and reputation of Singapore.

In reply, Ho's lawyer Subhas Anandan said that there was no evidence that the country's reputation had been tarnished as people were still flocking to the casino.

Anandan also highlighted that Ho had made restitution of about $50,000, which was his share of the criminal proceeds.

In passing sentence, District Judge Eddy Tham noted that 'the genesis and the success of the scam clearly depended on Ho, who played a pivotal role.

The judge also agreed with the prosecution that collusion between casino employees and patrons were hard to detect and were one of the duties of surveillance operators at the casino.

His alleged accomplices - Benson Ho, 24, Ang Chee Peng, 28, Bai Qipei, 24, and Toh Kaida, 28, have not been dealt with yet. Benson Ho is a driver and Bai is a deliveryman.

My take: Well, the group picked up Singapore $150,000, not really that big a score and certainly not enough to throw careers and the future in the toilet.