The Macau police have arrested a casino dealer and guard who allegedly stole more than $47 million Hong Kong dollars worth chips. The authorities in the Chinese controlled territory said their hunt for a dealer accused of stealing casino chips from Wynn Macau was finally over.
The heist happened early Tuesday morning and the police arrested two men on Thursday were Macanese residents aged 49 and 70. Surnamed Lee, the croupier had substantial gambling debts. 'He shouted at his female colleague, ordering her to stay quiet and lie on the gaming table. He returned to his assigned table and took out chips worth HK$47,895,000,' a police spokesperson informed. She also said he later stuffed chips into his bag and ran away. The Wynn Macau is owned by a gaming tycoon of United States, Steve Wynn.
Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, known as the DICJ have asked the casino operators to beef up their security. The casino thefts of the former Portuguese colony of Macau typically involves its employees in majority of the cases.
Being a specially administered region, Macau is the only place in China where casino gambling is legal. Media reported that the theft which took place this week was allegedly stolen by a man who worked in a high-roller VIP room at Wynn's resort. Wynn casino chips can only be exchanged for cash in Wynn's casino, so anyone with the chips would try to redeem the money in smaller fragments, rather than all at once to avoid attention. A similar incident had happened when 2015 and 2016 when employees working in Macau's VIP parlours stole millions from junket rooms in casinos. Macau, the world's largest gambling hub fetched revenues of US$33 billion last year.
Macau's booming revenues are underpinned by its VIP junket system, which allows the licensed middlemen to act on behalf on behalf of the casino to attract big whales who are willing to spend their money by arranging their travel and accommodation. They handle their gambling credit too.