Published on: September 7, 2022, 01:36 am.
Last updated: September 7, 2022, 01:42.
At 6:49 a.m. on September 6, 2022, a man fell flat on his stomach on a craps table at the El Cortez Casino in downtown Las Vegas. He then eagerly took over $19,000 in chips from the dealer, according to Scott Roeben of casino.org, whose Vital Vegas blog broke the story yesterday.
The thief, who appeared to be unarmed, walked out of the casino and is still at large. (Casino personnel who are not security are instructed not to fight or attempt to detain criminals.)
The theft has yet to be confirmed or commented on by El Cortez, but Roeben was able to obtain an exclusive surveillance photo of what he called “the audacious and completely moronic move.”
Why he Vol Get caught
As Roeben pointed out, the surveillance footage will ensure that the thief will never again be able to enter not only the El Cortez, but any other casino in the Fremont Street area without being arrested. (According to Roeben, all the other downtown casinos were immediately notified of the robbery. Despite being competitors, what they work together to do is catch crooks.)
Additionally, thief chips are worth nothing until they are cashed in at an El Cortez casino cage. At this point, payment can be refused or delayed for any reason, which of course includes stealing them during a live dice game.
Can’t have a friend cash them in?
All casinos keep track of the highest rolls through a rating system. The main use of this system is to provide the “whales” with free rooms and meals. However, whenever a non-whale is observed trying to cash out a large amount of chips that he has not been observed winning at the casino, red flags are immediately raised. The same goes for any person unknown to the casino who makes multiple trips to the cage to collect small amounts of chips.
Unfortunately, El Cortez is not one of the many modern casinos that build radio frequency identification (RFID) tags into their chips. This may be why the thief chose the casino to hit.
RFID tags allow the chips to be deactivated remotely by the issuing casino. On December 14, 2010, the Bellagio was robbed of $1.5 million in chips by a man riding a motorcycle into the casino. It was RFID technology that helped Tony Carleo, son of Las Vegas Municipal Judge George Assad, as the “Biker Bandit.” After discovering that his stolen chips were worthless, he was arrested after trying to sell the $25,000 worth on an internet poker forum.
Still, there are enough security measures in place at El Cortez to virtually ensure the thief is caught sooner or later, Roeben noted.
“We’re not exactly dealing with a criminal genius, so it shouldn’t take long,” he wrote.