Las Vegas Sands Investigated for Using ‘Shills’
If true the allegations, which were first broken by Reuters, could mean major trouble for the Sand Corp., which is owned by billionaire Sheldon Adelson.
According to Reuters, the shill operation employed the use of two Las Vegas housekeepers to act in the name of several Chinese whales.
The housekeepers, who were not identified, would allegedly obtain millions of dollars in credit under their own names and then gamble that money on behalf of their Chinese clients. This shilling, seemingly, could not have occurred without the knowledge of Sands’ employees. (The gambling all took place at the Las Vegas Sands’ Venetian and Palazzo casinos.)
The operation went off without a hitch right up until someone failed to pay off the gamblers’ debts. At that point, the two women were charged with theft by Clark County prosecutors, with whom they shared their stories.
Those stories included the allegation that the housekeepers had actually been recruited by employees of the Sands, an allegation that company officials are currently denying.
Thanks to a recent crackdown on corruption, Chinese big wigs are reluctant to take flashy Las Vegas gambling junkets under their own names. The use of shills allows them to live the Vegas dream, without leaving much of a paper trail.
While that technique may be well and good for a prosperous government official, it doesn’t sit well the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), which is looking into the matter.
The Sands paid more than $47 million to the US Department of Justice back in 2013 to settle a similar claim involving a Chinese-Mexican drug trafficker.