The odds-rigging scandal at Kangwon Land, the only casino allowed for domestic users, was fabricated by a group of gamblers who made the initial accusation, the police said Saturday.
According to investigators at Jeongseon Police Station in Gangwon Province, regular gamblers asked a staff worker at the casino on March 26 to install a tiny camera on a card shoe at a baccarat table.
Two of them grabbed the box and took it to management, claiming that the casino had tried to fix the odds. They even took video clips of their attempt to blackmail the management.
However, the police found that the cameras had been deliberately installed by the informants. The prosecution has arrested a 34-year-old casino worker for the installation of the illegal device, apprehended the two who snatched the box, and is interrogating other gamblers thought to have participated in the scheme.
The two detained gamblers said they had devised the plot to make up for the more than 5 billion won ($4.4 million) they had lost in games.
“But judging by the number of their visits, the actual losses they had could be much smaller,” a police officer said. Police are searching for six other gamblers who worked with the two in the scam.
However, the probe has helped the casino management spot another irregularity in the facility. During its internal inspection following the scandal, the managers spotted another camera in the card shoe of another baccarat table, the police said.
They said the gamblers could read the cards before they were dealt using the camera and notify their fellow conmen, helping them make billions of won on 22 occasions.
Officers suspect a 46-year-old man to have orchestrated the fraud and requested that Interpol help bring about his extradition from Vietnam.
Kangwon Land management is closing the facility for a day on Monday, a first since its opening in 2000, for tighter investigation.
By Bae Ji-sook (firstname.lastname@example.org