You’ve all seen Oceans 11, right? When I first saw it, I was drawn to the whole idea of the planning and how the heist was executed. Of course, I would never want to be involved in that kind of thing, but Oceans 11 definitely made it look appealing. Well, it appears that someone took inspiration from the movie to the next level, and actually stole $6 million in gaming chips. This happened at the Wynn Macau casino in China. Macau police said that a dealer from the casino and a potential accomplice have already been arrested, but the hunt for the chips continues as the casino attempts to recoup its losses.
Before I go too much farther with this one, let me ask you this – how does stealing chips get you anywhere? I understand that casinos deal in chips and have some cash on hand. Obviously, it’s going to be easier to get your hands on the chips, but what will that do for you? I mean, you have to cash them at some point. So if the casino catches on that you’re stealing chips, you’re going to get caught at some point with them. And what then are you risking? Because all you’re doing is stealing plastic chips. Sure, you could go back to the casino and cash in the chips little by little, but eventually, security would catch on I would think. Maybe I’m blowing this out of proportion, but I feel like this is a bad idea, regardless.
The casino opened in 2006 and is one of the premier gaming houses in a territory that has become synonymous with gambling. Revenue from gambling nearly tripled that of Las Vegas in 2016, making it one of the top gambling destinations on the planet. Which is why there is enhanced security at the casino. Police wouldn’t confirm how this heist went down. But local media reports claim that the suspect simply stuffed the chips into a bag in the VIP room, and walked out of the building. I ask again – to what end?
This stunt could put pressure on the casino to tighten up the oversight of gaming rooms. The rules around gambling in Macau are much more relaxed than in Las Vegas. Most of the high stakes gambling takes place in so-called VIP rooms, which aren’t run by the casinos themselves but by separate junket operators from mainland China. Which makes it difficult for casinos to manage what goes on inside these rooms.
Macau’s casinos raked in just over $33 billion last year alone. This was an increase of about 20% from the year before. Revenues started to fall in 2014 due to a crackdown on corruption by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Which deterred some big spenders from visiting Macau. I still can’t figure out how you think that you can get away with this kind of heist. Like I said in the introduction, I was drawn to the movie, Oceans 11 because of the planning and the execution of the heist. But I was on the edge of my seat the whole time just wondering when the ax was going to fall. All that said, Oceans 8 is just around the corner, and maybe we will see some of what happened in Macau, in the movie?