BLACK HAWK, CO — A series of unfortunate events has engulfed Monarch Casino, one of the prominent casinos in Black Hawk. Following a hefty $400,000 fine over employee misconduct related to sports betting, the establishment experienced what has been deemed the largest casino heist in Colorado's history.
On March 12, a staggering $500,000 was stolen from the Monarch Casino, not long after it had been penalized for alleged infractions by its employees on February 15. In a striking twist, the casino’s own personnel were implicated in both instances, leading to severe concerns over its internal control mechanisms.
Although the events are said to be unrelated, it is undeniable that Monarch Casino has come under a magnifying glass of scrutiny. The establishment is currently facing a series of investigations, primarily due to lapses in its internal controls system, which has allegedly enabled these misdeeds.
The casino’s reaction to the events has been swift and decisive. Monarch Casino and Resort Inc., the parent company which reported a solid Q4 2022 revenue of $120.5 million, has since announced a comprehensive audit of its internal controls. Furthermore, it's investing in substantial system upgrades, specifically for its sports betting platform. The organization also plans to enhance its geo-location services that aim to deter out-of-state betting.
Diving into the details of the incidents, the initial $400,000 fine was imposed after three of the casino's employees were alleged to have placed sports bets on behalf of customers not present in the establishment. Shockingly, 57 of these bettors weren't even Colorado residents, adding severity to the misconduct. As a result, the individuals involved have been dismissed from their positions and have faced legal consequences.
But the shadow cast by the fine pales in comparison to the brazen heist that took place less than a month later. Casino cashier Sabrina Eddy was reportedly caught on tape taking hefty sums from the casino vault. Her peculiar actions of loading and unloading the money into a waiting van, only to return for more, has raised numerous eyebrows.
In her defense, Eddy insists she was acting under instructions from a casino supervisor. She claims to have been directed to transport the money to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver. Yet, the circumstances surrounding her actions, especially her arrest and subsequent incarceration in Gilpin County Jail, leave more questions than answers.
Despite the scale of Eddy's alleged theft, Colorado is no stranger to casino-related crimes. Past incidents, including a $300,000 theft at a Cripple Creek casino in 2003 and an armed robbery at Central City's Famous Bonanza Casino in 2010, highlight the periodic challenges faced by the industry.
For now, Monarch Casino is on a path of introspection and recovery, with hopes of rectifying its internal systems and regaining the trust of its patrons.