Uruguay Codere Casino Employee Arrested for Stealing More Than $300K

Posted on: February 6, 2023, 09:09h. 

Last updated on: February 15, 2023, 05:23h.

Police are investigating an employee of a casino operated by Codere in Montevideo, Uruguay. During his employment at Casino Carrasco, he allegedly stole $300K.

The entrance to the Casino Carrasco in Uruguay
The entrance to the Casino Carrasco in Uruguay. An employee of the casino stole more than $300K, but the authorities are still trying to determine how long his activity lasted. (Image: Flickr)

A police investigation began late Thursday at the casino after employees called 911 to report that US$11,000 was missing. A routine audit revealed the discrepancy, and, at the time, only two people could have had access to the cash, according to Montevideo Portal.

Police detained both employees, a 33-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman. Under interrogation, the unidentified employee — who had reportedly worked at the casino for about 11 years — admitted to the theft. He began laying out the details that would later lead to the seizure of UYU5 million (US$129,550) and US$200,000.

The man told police that he had hidden the $11K last Thursday, leaving it in a place where only he had access inside the casino. His plan had been to return later to retrieve the money and leave, just like he had done several times before.

The former employee now faces charges of continuous misappropriation. He remains in jail while the investigation continues.

Hidden Figures

He later confessed that he had more money stored in his home. He also told officers that he had given money to his partner, a 30-year-old woman. Police arrested the woman but let her go after determining that she had no knowledge of the money’s origins.

The suspect then told police about six other addresses where he stashed the money. Police then recovered the funds but also suspect that the thief may have taken more.

The casino is also looking into the case. It plans to conduct a full audit to determine if more money is missing.

Losing Out the Front and Back Doors

Casino Carrasco is part of the Hotel Carrasco, which first opened in 1921, but has fallen on hard times in recent years. The casino and hotel have undergone several transformations over the past 100 years to try and bring back its former glory days. But the efforts continue to fall short.

The latest phase of the casino’s existence began in 2009 when Carrasco Nobile won a tender for gaming operations.

The casino paid US$2.5 million in operating rights annually as it got off the ground. However, by 2016, it was in debt to the city, owing $1.3 million. It had to rework the terms of its agreement to avoid closing for financial reasons, as it had done at least twice in the past.

With the arrival of COVID-19, things were even worse. A prolonged eight-month shutdown that year and in 2021 hurt the casino’s bottom line even more.

After the casino reopened toward the end of 2021, Codere said it was already seeing improvements. According to Montevideo records, the casino is still paying much less to the city than agreed upon, leaving its future in doubt once more.