In a bold and utterly moronic move, a man stole thousands of dollars in chips from a live dice table at downtown’s El Cortez casino.
At 6:49 a.m. on Sep. 6, 2022, the thief jumped onto the craps table and grabbed handsful of high denomination chips.
Our sources say the crook got $19,100 in chips. This hasn’t been confirmed by El Cortez, nor has the casino make a public statement about the theft.
We got our hands on an exclusive surveillance photo of the incident.
Such brazen thefts aren’t common in Las Vegas casinos, mainly because they’re so incredibly stupid.
There are a number of reasons such crimes are misguided.
First, while this hasn’t been widely publicized, Las Vegas casinos have security cameras.
We’re kidding. Everyone knows this. Even grade school children have heard the term “eye in the sky.”
The majority of casino cameras are pointed toward, you guessed it, games of chance, including slot machines and (wait for it) table games.
Here’s why crimes like this are especially dumb, though. Casino chips aren’t actually worth anything.
Casino chips are an agreement between the casino and players that the chips have value, and to get money for the chips, you have to go to a casino “cage” and turn the chips in for money.
The casino doesn’t have to pay you, especially if they know you got the chips illegally. (Same goes for a friend or stranger you may have sold the chip to. They’re in receipt of stolen property and also taking part in fraud.)
This is what casinos do for a living. All day, every day. They spend their time preventing theft. And making cocktails. But mostly that first thing.
El Cortez might be old-school, but they have encountered this type of dipshittery before. (Maybe more often than other casinos due to their location.) This guy won’t be able to enter the casino again, and if he does, it’s because El Cortez wants him to try and redeem chips so they can put his ass in jail.
It’s worth noting the old-school aspect of El Cortez, by the way.
See, in many casinos, the chips contain RFID tags. RFID technology allows casinos to track chips and to render them useless if they suspect wrongdoing.
Back in 2010, Bellagio was robbed, and RFID technology thwarted attempts to redeem chips. Again, their value was zero, except to chip collectors.
We’re told El Cortez doesn’t use chips with RFID tags (old-school!), but they still have an array of surveillance and security measures in place.
Now seems like a good time to reflect upon a time when casino security functioned a smidge differently. The robberies depicted in this scene from “Ocean’s Eleven” are fictional, but theft prevention in the early days of Vegas was definitely a lot more intimidating than it is now.
These days, of course, casino personnel are instructed not to fight with criminals. Again, they don’t really need to. Why risk one’s safety for worthless chips?
We trust everyone at El Cortez is O.K. following this incident. We love El Cortez, and it’s a shame these folks have to deal with idiocy like this. There was no mention of a weapon used in the theft, but even longtime dealers and floor managers would be riled after such an incident.
Other downtown casinos were alerted to the crime right away. Despite being competitors, casinos collaborate when it comes to preventing crime, and the lines of communication are very much open.
We look forward to hearing the aforementioned bonehead has been apprehended by law enforcement.
We aren’t exactly dealing with a criminal genius, so it shouldn’t take long.