High-stakes gambler allegedly robs Crown Casino Maple Room
A disgruntled gambler allegedly robbed one of the world’s most exclusive gambling rooms in a brazen bolt of riches along Melbourne’s glitzy Southbank strip.
A Melbourne Magistrates’ Court has heard that Gunawan Akay, 38, a high-roller who frequented Crown Melbourne’s exclusive Maple Room, allegedly stole 25 $5,000 chips last Friday.
Akay reportedly got away with $125,000 after evading security, despite a dealer immediately noticing the theft and reporting it to casino staff.
Sources claim that Akay had been gambling for a long period in the Maple Room, and had lost thousands of dollars before brazenly deciding to rob the casino and rush back to his Caroline Springs home with the stolen riches.
He wasn’t immediately identified by casino staff, but CCTV captured him in the act. His casino “Signature Club” membership was also used to confirm his identity.
The casino contacted him, and Akay agreed to meet a detective from the Melbourne Criminal Investigation Unit.
Akay and his lawyer, George Balot, hope to have the matter resolved as soon as possible.
“(This case) involves the brazen theft of $125,000 from the casino last Friday … today the informant showed me portions of the CCTV. It is of very high quality,” Balot said in court, via News Limited.
Balot argues that the CCTV footage is a central piece of evidence, and as such, there is no need for a long court case.
Akay is now scheduled to reappear for a committal mention in March.
The theft caps off a horror past few months for Crown Resorts. The company has all but exited its Macau interests, shifting focuses back to Australia after a number of failed projects in the Asian gambling mecca.
It is also embroiled in a corporate international scandal, with 18 staff, including three Australians, currently being detained in China for what is thought to be gambling-related crimes.
Following the arrests, Crown has seen a significant drop in the number of high-roller VIPs, mostly from China, visiting its casinos.
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