Biggest gambling tricksters in Australia how, when and why
We have put together a list of some of the biggest trickster in Australian gambling history. These players have been trying to play the casinos for everything they’re worth. Let us take a look at some of Australia’s largest fraudsters and why players become motivated to scam.
Gambling motivated frauds
Why do gamblers resort to criminal activity such as fraud? If you think about it, fraud is one way of obtaining a large number of funds. By obtaining such large amount of money players can continue to either support their gambling habit or pay off debts that they might’ve put themselves in through gambling, to begin with.
There’s also been a link between criminals and frauds where the majority of criminals either launder money through casinos or set up a scam to pay off drug money that they’re in debt to another gang.
The biggest reason for scams in Australia is due to gambling addiction. A study in Australia has shown that 10%- 25% of the problem gamblers commit some sort of offense such as fraud to be able to pay for their expensive addiction.
Having a gambling addiction is a very serious problem and can cause long-term or even life-long debts. Many of the problem gamblers don’t have enough funds to begin with to be able to gamble but will borrow money to feed their extensive and unhealthy addiction.
Where does the borrowed money come from? Most problem gamblers will borrow money from friends or family and because they can’t afford to pay them back due to gambling it all away they start taking out loans which can result in taking out money on your housing mortgage.
This addictive way of gambling and high amount of loans has put the problem gamblers in situations where their family and friends have left them or they lose their jobs and homes.
Addictive gamblers have a high rate of suicide because of the lack of impulse control that has to lead them to make such decisions. This leads to further addictions such as alcohol, drugs, sex, self-harm and in many cases has led to suicide.
So, as you can imagine, being a problem gambler and where you’re in a situation of losing your life and loved ones because of this addiction, committing fraud to obtain funds can be very tempting.
As you can see, addiction gambling becomes a vicious circle, hence why the Australian government is very strictly regulating the operators and casinos to make sure the players are protected from developing such unhealthy habits.
During this study in Australia, they interviewed offenders in community corrections and as many as 26% admitted they made some sort of offense to continue their gambling addiction whilst a staggering 46% admitted they’d obtained money illegally to pay for their gambling or other debts.
This past decade over a quarter of a billion dollars has been lost to gambling scams which have never been recovered. The Australian courts have had 528 legal judgments where 12,662 criminal offenses have been heard on gambling.
According to the Australian courts, the most common way of frauding the government to be able to obtain gambling money was through creating fake accounts, forgery, fraudulent misappropriation, stealing from casino tables and other ways of falsifying documentation.
Out of all of the gambling fraudulent prosecuted offenders, over 58% were males where the majority of the offenders were between the ages of 30-50 years old. The persecuted offenders were found to mostly have a pokies machine addiction.
Many of the accused problem gamblers admitted that before committing fraud they would steal from their friends and family. When they got caught they would tell their loved ones they would be able to win the money back. This belief kept them feeding their own addiction until their debt got to a point where it was so unbearable that they felt the need to have to steal a larger sum to be able to pay everything back.
In the last five years, problem gamblers have stolen over $100 million AUD where fraud, theft of money and falsification of invoices is the most common form to commit their fraudulent behavior.
To this day over 500,000 Australians are considered to be ‘high-risk’ gamblers which means they already have a gambling addiction.
Companies have reported problem gambling where 148 employees have stolen from them. 217 other companies were affected in other ways by gambling addictions.
In Australia, Victoria has the most problem gamblers and the largest amount of gambling losses in casinos.
The employers who would commit fraud at work in association with their gambling addiction, 19% had a prior criminal history with a high level of mental health problems such as depression.
The Ocean Eleven Scam
The Crown Resort Casino is known for attracting some of the biggest gamblers in history. Because the casino attracts so many VIP players, unfortunately, there are a few who tries to cheat their way through to a win by scamming the casinos.
This unknown man who managed to steal $33 million AUD from the Crown Casino in Melbourne is known for being the ‘Ocean Elven Scam’ due to burglarizing the casino through hacking into the casino’s surveillance system just like something you would see from the Ocean Eleven films.
The hunt for this man still continues but no one has managed to localize this man because of his unknown identity.
The Crown Casino has not spoken out about many details regarding the heist. Barron Stringfellow a Las Vegas casino consultant has managed to roughly figure out how it may have been done.
The unknown man, according to Barron, would’ve worn an earpiece whilst playing at the high-roller tables whilst at the same time an accomplice surveyed the surveillance footage from an unknown but safe location inside the casino itself.
By doing so, the accomplice could see how the unknown VIP scam player should play to grab the maximum profit.
According to the casino, the VIP staff member who was responsible for the high-roller guests has been dismissed due to this heist. No one knows if the staff member was involved in the scam somehow. Regardless, The Crown Casino is positive that they’ll be able to locate and recover the money one day.
Steve Fletcher fraud charge over $56,000 winning bet
Not only are casinos a popular way of gambling in Australia but also sports betting such as horse-racing. In 2013 high-roller Steve Fletcher put a large bet on the horse Alma’s Fury. The major punter himself is facing 78 scam charges in association with gambling. The charges have been put down as dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception.
The fraud went down as such where Fletcher and another punter, Darren Azzopardi, dressed up as police officers to disguise their gambling activities within reputable betting agencies such as Bet356 and Sportingbet. Their charges have a minimum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
It all began when Fletcher and his betting partner and brothel owner Eddie Hayson won a large sum of money that came to millions of Australian dollars. After losing all of his money on a large number of horse-races, he started using the identities of other people to hide his betting addiction.
He became banned from a few agencies after they caught him in disguise. This leads him to furthermore serious fraudulent behavior that now has accused him of 78 fraud charges and imprisonment.