Bellagio Discontinues $25,000 Chips After Robbery
On 14th December, 2010, an armed bandit robbed the Bellagio and got away with chips worth $1.5 million. The bandit is said to have gotten away on a motorcycle after the heist. The chips taken were said to be ranging from $100 to $25,000 in value. The Bellagio is the tenth casino to be robbed this year in Las Vegas.
The Bellagio is luxury hotel cum casino located on Las Vegas strip. It is a part of MGM Resorts International. The Bellagio is famous for its fountains called the “Fountains of Bellagio.” The hotel officially opened in 1998 and has gone on to win the AAA Five Diamond award for best hotel since then. The casino of the Bellagio is a gambling paradise with high-end security. Despite this, an armed robber walked into the casino on the afternoon of 14th December and got away with the chips. The police were called on the scene immediately. The police believe that the same bandit robbed the Sun coast Hotel and Casino on 9th December, 2010. The police also suspect the robber to have insider information as he is supposed to have walked directly to the table having the highest value chips.
Experts say that the chips would be hard to cash. The gambling chips of casinos are generally not interchangeable and therefore the thief would have to cash them in from the Bellagio itself to convert them to cash. Many top casinos have chips with radio frequency identification technology imbedded in them. This makes them easy to track. But, the spokesman of the Bellagio has not confirmed whether the Bellagio uses such technology.
Following the robbery, the Bellagio has decided to nix its $25,000 chips. It has called for all gamblers holding the chips to cash it in before 22nd April, 2011. Once this time period is over, the chips would be useless to anybody holding it. The casino officials say that anybody, who they are unfamiliar with, holding these high-denomination chips, would be questioned by the police. This move by the casino has reduced the robber’s chances of cashing in the chips without getting caught. The act of recalling or cancelling chips by casinos is not uncommon. But, it is done only sparingly. Sometimes chips are brought out to celebrate certain events. These chips usually are short-lived and are recalled after certain time lapses. But, in this case, the recalling is noteworthy as it is done to put a monkey-wrench in a robber’s chances of cashing in the high-denomination casino chips. Many feel that though this move by the Bellagio would help cut their loss, it would affect the high-stake players in a big way. Many of these players hold the chips as an investment, thinking of cashing it in when required. Now they will be forced to cash in the chips.
Whether the bandit who pulled out such a daring heist would be caught or not is yet to be seen. As of now the police and the Bellagio officials are pulling all the strings to close in on the robber.