Casinos – Old Scams, new technology

Casinos face a constant surveillance battle to prevent both players and their own employees from stealing from the house and it seems that many of the old scams are finding favour again but with new technological twists.

The recent baccarat scam perpetrated at the Nagaworld casino in Cambodia is a good example of this reinvention.

The scam netted the fraudsters and estimated US$ 1.3 million but was spotted relatively quickly by the casino because of the sudden fluctuation in the game’ win rate. 

Three dealers at the casino wore button hole cameras to record the last manual shuffle of the cards before play. A manual shuffle is often conducted after an auto-shuffle to show players that there is no cheating on the casino’ part. However, the dealers conducted this shuffle with a high riffle to allow for easier recording of the cards. The images taken by the camera were transmitted to the players by another accomplice. 
The players then requested 10 hands be played with no bets being placed, so that they could determine the sequence of cards in the remainder of the pack and bet accordingly. 
With security and scams such a key concern to the casino industry, GBGC took the opportunity whilst in Las Vegas to make a rare visit into the surveillance room of the Hard Rock Casino. 
The property has around 2,000 cameras in operation, which cover not just the gaming tables but also the car park and other public areas. Some crimes committed well away from the casino can have their origins on the gaming floor and the evidence that the casino’ cameras can provide is essential. For example, there have been occurrences of people being followed home from the casino following a big win and robbed of their winnings when they arrive home. 
New technology might be helping the criminals but it is also assisting the casinos, with high quality, digital recording facilities, integrated databases, real-time win/loss status, and even facial recognition all in their armoury.