Game chip tampering scam costs Macau casino $205,000

A Macau casino has suffered a loss of approximately HKD 1.6 million (US$204,609) following a gaming chip tampering scam. (Image:

Getting caught

A sophisticated chip-tampering scam has led a Macau casino to lose around HKD1.6 million ($204,609). A spokesperson for the Macau Judicial Police outlined the fraud during a press conference on Tuesday.

a criminal group has been counterfeiting legitimate gambling chips

The unnamed casino in Cotai reported the matter to authorities on Saturday evening after discovering that a criminal group had been counterfeiting legitimate gaming chips to make them appear to be worth HKD10,000 (US$1,278) when they were actually worth HKD100 (US$12.79). US dollars). a piece.

Police officers arrested five men at the casino, all of whom denied any wrongdoing. They claimed that they were simply following instructions and were being paid to take part in the casino games.

Fraud detection

The spokesperson provided no details on how the criminals tampered with the game chips, but each contained an RFID security tag that tracked its true value. The 100 HKD (12.79 USD) and 10,000 HKD (1,278 USD) tokens reportedly have very similar color schemes.

Authorities collected 33 fake chips

Four criminals were said to have played baccarat on Saturday and then converted the tampered chips into cash. They successfully cashed out a significant sum before a dealer noticed some irregularities. Casino surveillance footage shows the alleged fraud taking place. Authorities collected 33 fake chips.

Police captured the fifth suspect at the cashier’s cage. Law enforcement on the mainland arrested three people who were allegedly part of the same criminal organization. Authorities are still searching for at least one other suspect.

Not the first time

This is not the first time people have used fake gambling chips at a Macau casino. Authorities uncovered such a scheme in August 2023 that cost a Cotai casino about $700,000. These chips did not contain any security tags, but a dealer ultimately thwarted the project because they appeared “rough on the surface.”

The Cotai Strip is a glamorous area of ​​Macau that is home to many popular casino resorts, including Wynn Palace, MGM Cotai and Galaxy Macau.

A Macau casino suffered a loss of around HKD190,000 (US$24,297) in October 2020 when people bought high-quality counterfeit casino chips online and converted them to tables with smaller denominations.

Similarly, the Galaxy Macau casino resort took a HKD600,000 (US$76,728) hit in July 2017 when a group of individuals used what police described as low-quality counterfeits.

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