With casinos located across the United States, the opportunity for employment is vast. Such venues need a long list of individuals to help with the day to the day operations of the properties. From the hotel areas to casino gaming floors, casinos need to have the right people in place to ensure success. When it comes to slot games at the venues, technicians work hard to ensure that each machine is operational and in proper working order. Certain testing and unit checks must be made on a regular basis for games on the floor.
At the MGM Springfield, a former slot machine tech is now in hot water after it was discovered that $22,000 was stolen via the employment position. Salvador Montavlo Jr. was working at the casino from August 2018 until this past January. During that time he used his position at the casino to steal tens of thousands of dollars.
So how did the technician steal so much money? When performing tests on slot machines, money is used. Montalvo Jr. would go to the casino cashier and withdraw money to be used to test the machines. However, the money was never returned. Reportedly, he would keep a large portion of what was taken out and only return a little bit.
Now the former slot technician faces charges of larceny of property over $1,200. He was also charged with creating false entries in corporate books. In January, a probe was started on the casino by the Gaming Enforcement Division which resulted in the charges.
An audit on the slot machines revealed discrepancies which caused the investigation to take place. In total, Montalvo was able to take out $23,940 from the cashier at the casino. The funds were to be used on the machines and then returned. Overall, only around $2,000 was returned. The money was reportedly deposited into the personal bank account of the perpetrator.
To withdraw money from the casino cashier to complete such testing, a supervisor signature is required. Montalvo allegedly signed his supervisors signature to the paperwork in order to withdraw funds. He has now been indicted and will be arraigned in the near future.
Overall, casinos should be able to trust their employees. However, there are instances such as this one where the employee takes advantage of their casino and tries to get away with stealing or other types of activity.
In this case, the casino trusted the technician to review the slots and ensure they were working properly. Access to funds is granted to such employees but requires steps to be completed, such as the supervisors signature. Montalvo worked around this by signing the documentation himself and it worked.
The problem came after the casino did an audit of their machines. This is just one of many ways that gaming venues keep track of funds. While employee theft does occur, it is most always detected over time due to the regulations and protocols of the venue. So even though an elaborate plan may be in place, the criminal activity is usually always detected and charges filed on those involved.
MGM Springfield just opened last year and has already seen great success as a newbie in the gambling industry of Massachusetts. It is unclear as to whether or not this incident spurred changes within the way money is taken out. But we imagine that the casino is doing their due diligence to ensure that this type of activity does not happen again.