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Crown Casino Chip Fraud

25 April, 2009,  Milton Shaw, Staff writer

Crown Casino in Melbourne were forced to examine almost 15,000 of its high denomination chips yesterday after it was revealed that it had fake chips in circulation.

A casino worker identified a fake $1000 chip following a close inspection yesterday.  Crown then undertook an examination of 13,700 of its $1000 chips and found a further 36 fraudulent chips.

At this stage the casino is confident that the fraud is limited to $1000 chips and that most have been detected and pulled from circulation.  But further examination of other chip denominations will occur in coming weeks.

There is no way of telling how long the chips have been in circulation, although casino security believe it was less than a day.  It is also very difficult to know how much the casino actually lost to the fraud.

While $36,000 in fake chips have been  identified, the portion of those chips that were cashed out as opposed to lost in casino game play will never be known. 

Crown has conceded though that the quality of the fakes was pretty high making initial detection quite difficult.  Casino Spokesman Gary O'Neill said `I think in the early days it was fair to say that the quality of the fakes was laughable. These days they're getting better at it but so are we (at detecting the fakes).''


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