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Nevada On Lookout for Baccarat Cheating Ring

2 February 2011 by admin

BaccaratWith tomorrow beginning the Chinese New Year, it is one of the biggest times of the year in the casino industry. Casinos not only in Macau but also as far away as Nevada see a big spike in business for the holiday and with the added business, Las Vegas casinos are going to be extra watchful for an Asian cheating ring.

According to gambling authorities, a baccarat cheating ring that calls themselves the “Cutters” perfected a cheating strategy in Asia and are now bringing their scheme to America. The group is suspected of defrauding casinos worldwide for tens of millions of dollars. Las Vegas is thought to be their current target.

The gang is suspected of scamming Las Vegas casinos out of more than $1 million last month and they may have even been caught, but authorities had to release the suspects. Nevada Gaming Control Board agents will be looking extra carefully at the behavior of baccarat players as long as the Cutters are at large.

Authorities believe that the Cutters scam casinos by having a player “cut” the deck by dragging his finger along the top of the deck and separating the cards from each other slightly. In baccarat, in addition to the dealer shuffling and cutting decks, they allow players to cut the decks as well. In this scam, the player cutting the deck has a small camera hidden in their sleeve. That camera records the sequence of cards in the deck while the player cuts the cards. With the information from the camera transferred to a computer, a cheat sheet is made and information on the card sequence is given to a group of players who then approach the baccarat table and start playing.

Control Board agents detained a group of players who are suspected to be members of the Cutters last month in the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. However, no camera in the sleeve of the player could be seen in the security camera footage. According to the authorities, it wasn’t clear to a casual observer that the player cutting the cards was using a camera, and since their security footage didn’t show a camera, either, they did not have probable cause to conduct a body search to see if the player was hiding a cheating device. Therefore, they had no choice but to release the player and everyone in his party without filing any charges.

The Gaming Control Board said that they are actively investigating an Asian baccarat cheating ring, but would not elaborate. They have been receiving cooperation from Asian casinos and regulators, who have experience dealing with the cheating ring. A memo circulated by Macau police describes the Cutters cheating ring as large and “extremely well-organized.”

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