In 2013, on an evening when you were probably eating pizza on the couch, security at Melbourne’s Crown Casino were busy turfing out a high roller who had allegedly tried to dupe the house out of $32 million dollars.
News of the attempted heist only came to light this weekend, via an investigation by The Age, and the story is a real doozy.
In February 2013, a VIP services manager at the casino – the kind of person who handles your Clooneys, your Bilzerians, high rollers of that ilk – invited a wealthy New Zealand businessman to come and try his luck.
The businessman in question was very lucky – in fact, after an eight hand-long winning streak at the card tables, he was up by $32 million. Given that the house always wins, because they pretty much design it that way, this streak caught the attention of security.
“We could not believe what he had won and some of the bets he placed were very, very suspicious,” a former Crown employee told The Age, saying that the attention of security was quickly drawn to the man.
Further investigation, they say, uncovered the fact that security cameras had been “breached”, and that the VIP services manager was in on the scam, and had arranged to send covert “signals” to the gambler at the table.
Later that night, some large gentleman arrived at the door of the businessman’s room to discuss the matter – as the majority of funds had not yet been credited to him, he was asked to leave and not come back.
Charges were not pressed, presumably to keep the incident quiet, but Crown still had one very big PR problem to deal with.
The very next day, the businessman was due to participate in a Crown Casino PR stunt, in which he would order the world’s most expensive cocktail, a $12,500 concoction made of cognac from 1858.
The casino were planning to set a Guinness World Record for Most Expensive Cocktail, and a large media contingent had assembled, so they couldn’t very well lose face by calling off the stunt.
Instead, The Age claim, they approached another regular Crown patron and pleaded with him to order the drink. They convinced the (clearly very patient) guy to plonk down $12,500 for the privilege, and then allegedly refunded him at a later time.
This would pretty well explain why everyone in the below video of the cocktail party looks so gloomy:
Since it appears they didn’t technically ‘sell’ the drink at all, there have been calls for Crown Casino’s Club 23 to give up their world record. They have, not surprisingly, not responded.
via The Age
Image via Crown Casino
Image via Crown Casino