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Two arrested over HK$48M Wynn Casino Heist in Macau

Tags: casino robbery, Macau, Wynn Casino.
Posted on 15 February 2018 by "T".

Judiciary police in the world's largest gambling hub Macau have arrested two men, a croupier and a security guard, over a colossal casino heist in which gaming chips equivalent to almost HK$48 million have been stolen from a VIP room inside the Wynn Macau.

Macau, a semi-autonomous, special administrative region, is the only area of China where casino gambling is deemed legal and so it's a favorite place for many mainland high rollers.

The massive heist occurred early Tuesday morning of January 16 at the mega casino Wynn Macau, owned by US gaming tycoon Steve Wynn.

According to police, the two men, aged 49 and 70, were arrested on Thursday January 18, were actually related to each other and they were Macau residents.

Local media TDM reported that the croupier told them he had huge gambling debts, and the guard was his uncle.

Just going by the surname Lei, the 49-year-old croupier had bagged the chips when the VIP room he was working in was ultimately empty at 7am, with no gamblers and only one other dealer was present. According to online reports, he yelled at his female co-worker, ordering her to stay quiet and not stop him, allegedly threatening her with a knife.

A spokeswoman said on Friday January 19 that Lei "shouted at his female colleague, ordering her to stay quiet and lie on the gaming table. Then he returned to his assigned gaming table and took out HK$47,895,000 worth of chips. Lei then stuffed the casino chips into a bag that he hid under his uniform. He then changed into plain clothes, used a guest entrance to leave the casino, and rode a motorcycle as his getaway vehicle. Later, he met with his security guard uncle, surnamed Ho, at a park in neighboring Taipa with the chips." Some of the stolen chips are said to have a nominal value of HK$1 million each.

Lei admitted guilt but refused to say where the stolen chips were hidden, whereas Ho denied committing any crime.

Authorities said that the stolen casino chips can only be exchanged for cash at gaming resorts which are owned by the same operator.

It is a fact that Macau has a reputation as a money-laundering center for illegal cashflows out of China.

Heists and theft in casinos are rare, but sometimes they do happen. On September last year, a Hong Kong police officer was accused of stealing gaming chips worth HK$800,000 from Macau's posh Cotai Strip.

CEO of Macau-based Inside Asian Gaming magazine Andrew Scott said that this latest robbery has rattled some in Macau, with major industry players now reviewing and studying how to beef up their security.

Scott said, "All the properties in Macau are thinking 'could this happen to us?' and they will be reviewing their procedures."

He also said there were "multiple tactics", in which a person who had stolen chips could bring them back to the system and therefore obtain financial gain. In over 30 years he's had in the industry, Scott said he had heard of at least a dozen other similar incidents around the world, "It's like a bank robbery - it's not an everyday event."

Wynn Macau, is one of six licensed operators in Macau, which enjoys revenues far surpassing its American counterpart. Owned by Wynn Resorts, Wynn Macau opened its doors on September 2006. It is a luxury-integrated resort in Sé, Macau, China, offering gaming services (314 table games, 958 slot machines) plus a hotel with 594 rooms and suites, shops, five restaurants, spa, salon, and a ‘Performance Lake'. In 2009, Wynn Macau became one of only five hotels in Asia to ever receive the Forbes Five-Star award.



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11 comments on "Two arrested over HK$48M Wynn Casino Heist in Macau"

 doubletop77715/02/2018 08:59:01 GMT
This would have been a massive heist if they had got away with it. I have never heard of such a large amount being stolen and it was always very doubtful they would have got away with it
 pajalnick15/02/2018 12:27:24 GMT
6136554.29 US dollar at the moment, the exchange rate of HK $ 48 million ..... not a very big amount if you translate it into US dollars .... so the news writes sumium in Hong Kong dollars .... Of course it is clear that the calculations in this casino were it is in Hong Kong dollars that's why such a flat amount
 Mober15/02/2018 13:29:50 GMT
It was a big heist indeed.
But they took chips, so they would have to dump them some how afterwards.
Not that they reached that part. They might still have the chips.
Long article kept reading to see how much was in total in USD, no luck Smile
Had to google it to find out it was 6 millions USD Smile
 CALICUL15/02/2018 13:46:00 GMT
these casino chips have not been exchanged for cash. Chances are very small for someone to take advantage of the chips. The value of 48 millions dollars will do the security services to look carefully. Each player who will earn money and will come back to withdraw will be investigated, if the police do not recover all chips.
 bowie198415/02/2018 14:23:15 GMT
Wonder how many employees of these places have some outstanding debt inside this world? I mean no wonder that desperate men needs desperate measures, but these people ought to be better compensated because the temptation is bigger.
 godoy15/02/2018 23:10:37 GMT
it seems movie once I read about it from a guy who assaulted the motorcycle bellagio plus he overcame saw more as these chips are all chipped I do not doubt it will be totally recovered and bad luck from the guy that lost in the game and in life
 Mober17/02/2018 14:15:35 GMT
As stated there are too many laundering money through the casino's,
so who knows what exactly the story here was.
It was too risky and foolish to steal all these chips.
Since the firm is using the same chips everywhere, they may cash out the chips in some other country Smile
 Tony_MON7ANA17/02/2018 23:30:56 GMT
Steve Wynn stepped down as Republican National Committee finance chair in late January, and earlier this month he resigned from Wynn Resorts. Then this incident happened in Macau. It seems to be an opportunistic attack.
 bowie198418/02/2018 01:03:07 GMT
Posted by Tony_MON7ANA:
Steve Wynn stepped down as Republican National Committee finance chair in late January, and earlier this month he resigned from Wynn Resorts. Then this incident happened in Macau. It seems to be an opportunistic attack.

Haha, great joke. Otherwise Steve would have been there to stop them right by the door, isn't it?
 pochui18/02/2018 12:37:46 GMT
well this is actually quite stupid, if you steal 48 millions worth of chips, no matter what are those so called techniques to get the chips back into the system and obtain financial gain you will get busted, too much money involved, casino ca just change their chips and you are left with a bag of plastic for your home game
 Serpang18/02/2018 14:47:04 GMT
yeah quiet stupid. Stolen from casino ? even winning player when win big should investigate first when they cash their chip. Remember Ivey case ? Should be more staff involve to cash it successfully, MAYBE. lol

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