Largest theft on record revealed at Grand Casino Helsinki
Employee accused of siphoning money from slot machines for years
A former employee is being charged with the largest theft on record at Grand Casino Helsinki. The thief is suspected of pocketing money from slot machines in the period from 2005 to 2008.
”Finland has had casino operations for 17 years, and this is the first fraud of this size in history”, says Casino Director
The person accused of the crime has been working for years as a casino technician at Grand Casino. He is no longer employed by the establishment.
The prosecutor has filed charges against the former casino employee, accusing him of aggravated theft. The technician has denied all charges.
According to Jokipaltio, the person is suspected of making use of ”technical expertise and certain knowledge pertaining to the operation of slot machines” to commit crimes.
Jokipaltio and prosecutor Matti Poikonen are to refrain until the trial from revealing the size of the sum the technician is suspected of having lifted from the casino.
However, Jokipaltio admits that it is in the region of tens of thousands of euros at the very least.
”The sums taken in one go were rather small, but the aggregate amount was considerable”, Jokipaltio reported.
The stolen funds are part of the earnings of the Slot Machine Association (RAY), which are used to support the activities of Finnish associations involved in social affairs and health issues.
The criminal activities are suspected of having continued most of the five years that RAY’s casino - the only such establishment in Finland - has been operating in its present premises on Mikonkatu 19, close to the central railway station.
Until 2004, the casino was run under the name Casino RAY at the Hotel Presidentti.
The casino first started to suspect foul play at the end of 2008, whereupon the Slot Machine Association requested a police investigation.
According to the Casino Director, there is always a risk that somebody tries to steal money from the casino.
”The greatest risk is that clients try to cheat while gambling. A few such cases are revealed every year”, Jokipaltio notes.
However, the staff have never before attempted to commit any large-scale theft or embezzlement.
”All earlier incidents that have been revealed have been insignificant”, Jokipaltio adds.
He notes futher that the casino has now made changes to its surveilllance methods and other operational procedures.
”It can be said that the casino has failed in its obligations if this kind of action is possible”, Jokipaltio concludes.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Casino architect brings piece of Las Vegas to refurbished Helsinki restaurant (20.1.2004)
Grand Casino Helsinki