The casino industry has a history of being a high-risk environment for fraud and scams due to the fast and furious cash activity, even though it is controlled and protected by high-tech surveillance and state-of-the-art computer systems.
As technology has changed casino operations, the nature of fraud has evolved to take advantage of weaknesses. Internal controls are critical to prevent fraud and to detect fraudulent activity after the fact. A number of decades ago, I was discussing some potential theft by employees with a casino owner.
He responded by stating that someone is likely stealing from him right now, and that all he wants to do is limit the dollar amount of the theft. Internal controls do not consist of a page document that you require employees to read and then sign the last page. They consist of a series of controls that are dictated by management and enforced by management. The key to success is establishing processes where multiple individuals preferably three must be involved to commit fraud AND, if it occurs, there is a high probability the audit procedures will detect it.
Sounds repetitive, but management culture is vital. When employees see managers circumventing the rules to accommodate customers or other employees, then the objective of enforcing solid internal controls is defeated. Enforcement is key. Let me give an example. Slot jackpots require multiple signatures.
If an accounting auditor occasionally visits the casino floor to inquire of employees about questionable signatures on documents, such as employees who always sign with their first name only, then word will spread that documents are truly being reviewed. The history of developing casino internal controls is often driven by solutions created as a result of a fraud or scam. Many of the older scams have been eliminated by the advancement of technology.
With the gradual disappearance of coin-in slot machines and the tracking of all slot machine activity with computer systems, many fraudulent schemes have disappeared, while others have been formulated as criminals adapt. After being inundated with customers cashing in these coupons for tens of thousands of dollars in a few days, they posted a notice that those coupons were no longer accepted. Rumor has it the roadway leading out of the casino was littered with these magazines as frustrated customers threw them out their car windows as they drove off.
This scam and similar ones were detected when comparing total counts of bus patrons to coupons redeemed — more coupons redeemed than bus patron counts tipped off the discovery. The management handled the situation very poorly and told the customer they would investigate.
In the meantime, they bought him a hot dog. I heard that the vendor who was responsible for the glitch contributed to the payout. It was noticed that the number of jackpots had risen significantly, resulting in suspension of members of management and an investigation. It was eventually revealed that an increase in maximum wager per handle pull led to many more W2G jackpot hits, and that management had done nothing wrong.
There was no supporting jackpot to go with it. The slot machine language advised that the player wins if the symbols lined up on the center line. On one of these machines, customized with a symbol designed by the casino, the symbols were too large. The casino lost this case with gaming regulators for a substantial amount of money.
Accounting staff should always review the highest-point and comp-earning players each week. Any trends involving excessive earnings, unrecognizable customers or other idiosyncrasies may often require investigation and could lead to customer fraud, employee fraud or computer issues i. Employees with the ability to convert points to cash and have computer access, have rewarded themselves and their friends by generating replacement player cards and cashing in the points for a dormant player.
There have been a number of occasions where investigations provided strong evidence that certain individuals or managers did a pre-count of the cash before the count team arrived the next day. The security personnel had obtained a key to open the boxes. Table games shift management accompanied the security team and cart, but they used an elevator too small to hold all personnel. The table games personnel took the stairs to meet the elevator. Security staff would open the boxes, remove cash and close them during the elevator trip.
The use of shoes has reduced the risk to some degree. Of course, paying out players for losing hands is also a common fraud until caught. The rigging of roulette tables and dice also have a long history of both internal and external scams.
Cashier cages are often referred to as the heartbeat of the casino as cash flows through them non-stop. Temptation has always been a factor with so much currency close at hand. Some of the really bad scams have occurred with manipulation of markers credit instruments evidencing funds extended to casino players.
In one incident a cashier created hold checks in a fictitious name and then extended herself the cash in exchange for the check. By authenticating identity and payment documents at the time the transaction occurs using counterfeit detectors. On top of preventing fraud, counterfeit detectors double as a method for effective regulatory compliance management. Our team of fraud prevention specialists is here to guide and provide support for all your fraud prevention needs!
Fraud in the Gaming Industry Month January 0 3, 4, 4, February 0 2, 3, 4, March 0 1, 3, 3, 5, April 54 2, 3, 4, 5, May 54 2, 3, 4, 4, June 90 2, 3, 4, 4, July 2, 4, 4, 4, August 2, 4, 3, 5, September 3, 3, 4, 5, October 3, 4, 4, 4, November 2, 3, 3, 4, December 2, 4, 4, 4, Subtotal 2, 27, 45, 49, 57, Total Filings , The gaming industry has long been a hotbed of fraudulent activity.
Added Value: HR Protocols and compliance On top of preventing fraud, counterfeit detectors double as a method for effective regulatory compliance management. Protect your casino from fraud Our team of fraud prevention specialists is here to guide and provide support for all your fraud prevention needs!
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