Whirl Pool episode 6: Macau Casino Baccarat Storms

Posted: April 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

Story by:  Alan Kaplan

Editor’s Notes:  Our guest writer Alan Kaplan is really good at sourcing out insider stories/events about the initial years of Macau casino development; in particular, he has good information sources from the industry. Enjoy reading.


WHIRL POOL – episode 6: Macau Casino Baccarat Storms

It was a Saturday afternoon passed 2p.m. when James walked into Desmond Pajaro’s little office back of the house tagged away from the posh casino floor, at SilverStone Macau, the best international casino ever built in Asia.

Desmond didn’t look good at all. He was cursing at the CCTV screen right in front of him, ‘Shit! Not again… What the fuck this game… ‘ James moved closer to him and realized that Desmond was looking intensely at the VIP Baccarat table in one of the VIP rooms. Desmond looked up and said to James, ‘They are Indonesian players. We are in a row of bad hands all the way… A couple of millions loss and they are unstoppable it seems.’ Just when Desmond was talking, he glanced at the screen again and he jumped, ‘Oh no… They hit it again!’

Apparently a group of 4 Indonesian players flew in to Macau this weekend on Friday and had started to slaughter the casino since Saturday morning. Their bets were very well timed with heavy winning hands with God-knows right intervals. They switched between VIP Baccarat and Black-jack every few hours. These guys were experienced players no doubt. James stayed just a while in that small office that Saturday afternoon but felt the heat coming from the Baccarat table, through the CCTV screen piped into Desmond’s office. James turned and got out of that oven. He had better place to go on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

It was an emotionless Monday morning the following week at the weekly operations meeting chaired by the chief operating officer. SilverStone Casino had losses a neat USD48m over the prior weekend, to that group of 4 Indonesian VIP players. The Jewish owner of SilverStone hit the roof. The score in the VIP room wiped out almost a whole week’s mass market gaming revenue! Ugly. Everyone in that weekly ops meeting kept very quiet. Over the other side, the Lisboa team was happy to see such thing happened to the American casino in Macau. Sarcastic comments were mentioned through the press. The local press seemed to support Lisboa side in full force.

In fact, the huge loss in VIP gaming to the Indonesian players was not the only such incident. Just within 2 months of SilverStone’s opening in Macau, a USD5m loss took place in the VIP room, due to a scam. That first incident had caused some heads to roll. The senior vice president of casino operations was fired immediately without doubt. What was interesting in that incident, the Consultant of VIP gaming was also booted by SilverStone Casino. The story went around that this consultant introduced the guy, a person by the name of Wong who carried out the scam, into VIP Baccarat program. Coincident or not, the consultant was also operating from Australia prior, same place this Wong who operated on scams. It was hard to deny that the consultant didn’t know Wong. Apparently on investigation, this Wong guy had long been banned by Asian casinos, including the Lisboa. It wasn’t a surprise that the scam allowed Lisboa guys a good laugh at the Americans.

James learned from one of the casino’s senior operation analyst that in fact the USD5m scam could have been stopped in time before huge damage was done. The trouble was nobody had suspected this Wong guy at all, because he was introduced by the consultant into the VIP Baccarat program (non-negotiable chips with rebates). According to the senior operation analyst, casino management should have noticed the irregularity of the player’s extremely good luck factor over consecutive 3 days in the VIP Baccarat program. But instead the casino people just overlooked the obvious. So, heads got to roll… Another coincident, the sacked senior vice president of casino ops was an Australian too. That first scam incident had caused the Australian camp in SilverStone Macau became fragmented and weakened. Subsequently after just merely less than a year after SilverStone set foot in Macau, American team started to run the show from then on. They also got rid of the Australian chief operating officer. End of the short Aussie era by December 2004.

Afternotes:  News about the so called VIP gaming consultant at SilverStone was afloat in Macau casino community. Apparently, this guy was a thorough BS and well known in Australian casino circle. He used to ‘hang around’ in Australian casinos because himself a player. People laugh about him big time whenever his name been mentioned.


(To be continued)

  1. […] is the original post:  Whirl Pool episode 6: Macau Casino Baccarat Storms « Professional … This entry was posted in Casino and tagged from-the-industry, initial, macau-, […] Great story…

  2. Patrick Au says:

    What the … , this is clearly collaborated scam by the Aussie ppl with the Wong guy. So obvious.

  3. Enjoyed studying this, very good stuff, thanks .

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