Macau Casino Heist: $258 Million Lost In Macau Heist “Details”

Macau Casino Heist : $258 Million Lost In Macau Heist - Details

Macau is getting rocked by reports of a $258 million casino heist.

A junket operator in Macau was the victim of employee theft of up to $258 million, according to a report from Bloomberg, and the liquidity squeeze is having some unfortunate effects on casino gambling there, with Wynn Resorts apparently taking the brunt of it.

Though the casino operator didn’t have any money stolen from it, the hit to Dore Holdings, the junket operator, has sent shares of Wynn Resorts down roughly 10 percent since the news broke.

Dore operates two VIP rooms with at least 25 tables in total at the Wynn Macau, the report said. Wynn Macau provides dealers and chips, while the junket brings in whales.

According to Barrons.com, it is a cage manager who is suspected of the theft.

Dore could account for around five percent of the junket industry volume in Macau.

Baccarat has historically driven 91 percent of Macau’s gambling dollars, with high rollers accounting for about 50 percent of the city’s gaming revenue.

Junket operators are businesses that, through investors, help high rollers get access to the funds they want to gamble with. They also collect any debt. This is necessary because the Chinese government has long restricted the flow of money into Macau, which is a special administrative region of China. The Chinese economy is itself slumping, perhaps a reason for greater scrutiny.

The heist of up to $258 million isn’t the biggest Macau has ever seen, though. Last year, $1.3 billion was siphoned from junket operator Kimren. Macau’s casino gambling market started to contract in the following weeks.

Gaming revenue in Macau has been significantly less throughout this year, with monthly declines of 30-50 percent. August’s gaming revenue was a 36-percent drop year-over-year.

Despite the junket corruption crackdown from Beijing, more casinos are going to be added to the former Portuguese colony. Macau currently has more than 30 casinos, as two new ones opened in May. Las Vegas Sands, MGM and Wynn are all preparing to open new casinos in the near future.

Altogether, $20 billion is being spent on new projects in Macau.

According to Bloomberg, casino win accounts for four-fifths of economic output in the former Portuguese colony, the only place in China were gambling is legal. Macau’s GDP fell 26.4 percent in the last quarter, worse than the 24.5-percent decline in the first quarter.

Macau ended 2014 with seven straight months of year-over-year gaming revenue decline, bringing 2014’s total win to $44.1 billion, a 2.6-percent drop compared to 2013’s record shattering year.