Putting it on red
Did they intend to launder the money by putting it on red, thus giving them about 50% return? I know nothing about laundering money so I'm wondering how people do it.
At least some of the US$81 million lifted from Bangladeshi banks in recent hacks on the Society for Worldwide Interbank Telecommunication (SWIFT) inter-bank transfer network has been tracked down to a casino in the Philippines. The February heist relied on malware dropped on a SWIFT terminal used by Bangladesh's central bank. …
It's better than that. Putting it all on red in small-ish batches gives close to 100% return of clean money, because each winning bet returns the stake plus the same in winnings. The only losses are when the ball lands in 0 or 00 (for those houses that like a little extra), so either 1/37 or 2/38.
Mind you, I've always wondered about this. Why not just wander into the casino, change the cash into chips, have a couple of drinks, then change the chips back into cash? Same effect, zero loss.
Thank you for that explanation Geoff. I don't know much about casinos either.
If the authorities tracked the money to the casino then it probably got there by a series of bank transfers. I assume the intention was to take it out in casino chips from a casino based client account and then convert these to cash in various ways. (A casino with honest management would be very suspicious of this behaviour.) I'd have thought that buying gold bullion would be a better method because gold can have its 'identity' changed with only a small loss in value depending on who you can persuade to buy it from you.
I think the point is, assuming 50/50 black and red, in 50% of cases stake is lost, in other 50% of cases stake is doubled, so net effect is neutral. The house makes its money on the exceptions (0 and 00) where neither red nor black wins.
This is what makes Casinos so very effective for laundering money - that the Casino take is so small. And a cynic might suggest that its not entirely in the casino's interests to be too much on the lookout for money launderers since they are such very good customers... unless it gets found out.
When it lands on black, you lose that stake, but when it lands on red you win it back again. If there were no "0" or "00" pockets, then P(R) = 0.5, and E(R) = 0*.
For a wheel with 38 pockets, P(R) = 0.47ish, E(R) = -0.05ish.
IE, if you had a million pounds, and made 1000 bets on red, each of £1000, you would expect to have £950,000 at the end of the process.
* In fact, this is true of every bet on the roulette table. With no nul pockets, every bet pays its probability in odds.
Slightly sloppy wording on my part, apologies.
If the ball lands on red, you get 200% back, if it lands on black you get 0%. Assuming a fair wheel, there will be an approximately equal number of red and black results, so you will get back approximately 100% of the original money over time, minus only the 0 and 00 results which is the profit for the house.