Recently an armed gunman walked into the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas and walked away with $1.5 million in gambling chips. The robber drove up the casino on a motorcycle, parked it in the valet entrance, and kept his helmet on while committing the robbery. When he entered the casino, the robber went right towards a craps table where he pulled out a gun and demanded the chips ranging in denomination from $100 to $25,000.
While this was a daring robbery, it turns out the casino chips may be worthless. Since the robber went after these high denomination chips he may have hurt his chances of cashing in on his crime. Obviously he will have to cash these chips in at the casino at a later date to receive the money. The only problem this robber is going to have with his plan is that the high denomination chips have serial numbers or embedded radio chips so that the casino can track them. By knowing exactly what chips were in play during the time of the robbery, the Bellagio can then determine which chips were stolen and put those specific chips on a list for when the crook goes to cash them in.
Authorities believe that this same thief may have been responsible for another robbery that took place less than a week ago at the Las Vegas Suncoast Hotel & Casino poker room. That robbery has similar circumstances such as the robber pulling up and speeding away on a motorcycle, keeping his helmet on the entire time he is in the casino and brandishing a handgun while demanding the chips. In that hold up the thief only walked away with $20,000 and should not have the same issue with serial numbers on the gambling chips.
Authorities have cautioned other casinos in Las Vegas to be on alert for fear of similar robberies taking place at their casinos and putting their employees and guests in harm’s way.