As of June 27, 2007, the state of origin night on the Gold Coast and the Conrad Jupiters Casino is in full grind. Many rugby league fans have hit the poker and casino table games to celebrate Queensland's win over New South Wales in the first game in the series.
Upstairs on the VIP Conrad Club, businessmen and their partners indulged in blackjack, baccarat and roulette. But this scene is not just the sole domain of Gold Coast gamblers.
Among the growing group are Victorian residents who are trying their luck at the Tabcorp owned gambling facility. Company documents revealed that Victorian residents make up a quarter of the casino's gamblers outside the state. They are the casino's secret, big time businessmen, horse racing personalities, lawyers and underworld people who are willing to gamble big during games.
But not everyone is welcome to play in Jupiters. That night, some of the customers at Jupiters included Melbourne's Andrew Scott, an ex-accountant who made his fortune by winning Blackjack games.
He cashes in $50,000 and joins a gaming table where players are carelessly throwing $100 chips. It seems that Scott is just one of the casino's customers that are filling up Tabcorp's purses but Scott suddenly wins $15,000.
But after that, he was immediately identified as a "card counter". The pit boss immediately asked Scott to leave the casino's premises. The security of the casino even aggressively harassed Scott.
The only fault of Scott was simply his talent to count the cards as they came out of the shoe, giving him an advantage over the other players.
Casino facilities all over the world have the right to exclude anyone. Scott said that anyone with that kind of cash will be welcomed anytime. Scott is not wrong in that belief because even Victorian drug trafficker, Horty Mokbel, is a member of Jupiters high-rollers.
Even though these kinds of high-rollers lose a lot of money, it is rewarded by the casino in the form of first class flights, food, valet parking and a whole lot more.
A Productivity Commission study has found that a third of the $15 billion that are lost by Australian gamblers each year comes from the pockets of addictive gamblers.
Poker machines contributed most of the profits with $2.5 billion. Yearly poker and casino table games losses at the Crown Casino have exceeded $1 billion.
Monday, July 16 , 2007