Casino Workers Help Gang Steal Over $500K From Spanish Casinos

Posted on: February 22, 2023, 06:56h. 

Last updated on: February 22, 2023, 12:10h.

Police in Spain have cracked the case of the crooked croupiers. Following an investigation that began several months ago, they arrested several employees and accomplices who allegedly stole at least €500,000 (US$532,800) by rigging gaming machines.

Officers with the Spanish National Police on the job
Officers with the Spanish National Police on the job. Officers arrested six people who infiltrated various casinos and stole over $500K (Image: Republica)

Allegations of fixing roulette games in five gambling clubs led police to identify and arrest five suspects in the south of Spain, and one suspect in Madrid. The latter is reportedly the leader of the group, reports Spanish media outlet Diario Sur.

The plot began unraveling last November after a casino identified unusual activity. However, it’s possible that the gang could have been orchestrating their scheme for much longer without being detected.

Beginning of the End

At the end of last November, the group carried out its missions in unidentified casinos in the southern beach cities of Fuengirola and Malaga in Andalusia. Once the properties realized what had happened, they contacted the police.

This prompted Spain’s National Police to launch an investigation. What they learned over the next few months was that casino employees, under the orders of the group, were able to control the roulette wheel payouts to facilitate the robberies.

Police investigators found that the leader of the group organized the activity from his home in Spain’s capital city of Madrid. His right-hand man was an unidentified individual who helped carry out the fraud on-site. This individual traveled to different regions and stayed in hotels using false IDs. While there, he colluded with casino employees to fulfill the missions.

This included gaining access to the roulette machines to manipulate the computers. In one instance, a casino employee handed over a master key that gave the crook unfettered access to the premises.

Afterwards, the group was able to control the computer systems of the selected gambling clubs in order to create winning tickets. The criminals then exchanged them for cash at other casinos. Some of the tickets were worth as much as €40,000 (US$42,628).

The Game’s End

The police dubbed their investigation “Game,” and ultimately captured six suspects after determining that they had hit gambling houses in Malaga, Fuengirola, Murcia, Redondela, and Madrid.

They found five of the criminals in Malaga and in the city of Alhaurín de la Torre. That’s at the same time a task group in Madrid moved in and arrested the leader. He was already a wanted man in Madrid on unspecified charges, so he immediately landed behind bars without the possibility of bail.

All of those arrested now face charges that include criminal conspiracy, theft, and fraud. Depending on which way the prosecutors decide to present their case, they could be looking at up to 10 years in prison.