It only took eight hands of poker for a whale, what casinos call a well recognized, big stakes bettor, being unfairly fed information on the hands of others, to scam players at an Australian casino of an estimated $33 million.
The team worked with the accomplice from overseas who was known to spend large amounts while gambling at the Crown in Melbourne. He and his family were provided a $30,000 a night villa when they checked in.
The player then joined an invitation only high stakes poker game in a private suite. An unnamed person or persons accessed the casino security video system in the poker room and fed the information back to the player via a wireless link. As with American counterparts, cameras and microphones are positioned throughout the Crown casino complex with feeds monitored by both casino security and staff of the Commission for Gambling Regulation.
Access to the high stakes poker rooms is restricted to holders of special keycards augmented by physical security at the door. These rooms have extra surveillance, with multiple PTZ cameras watching the players inside.
Once the scam was uncovered, the high roller was ejected from his suite and banned from future visits. The casino VIP handler assigned to look after him during his visit was fired. It is expected that much of the losses have been or will be recovered.