Macau casinos take out insurance policies to protect against guest kidnapping

Insurance at a casino is nothing new. Just take Blackjack, for example. If the dealer is dealt an Ace, you’re asked if you’d like to take insurance. It’s pretty much a sucker’s bet (don’t tell management I told you that) but it is offered and it’s something that both online casino and land-based players often take advantage of.

But over in Macau, there’s a different kind of insurance being offered. And it has nothing to do with doubling down at the tables.

inner1macau09012015We’re talking about kidnapping. Yes, as in abduction. It turns out that casinos in Macau are now taking out insurance policies to cover kidnapping cases. Sounds bananas, right? Who on earth is being kidnapped and are the numbers really so high that they would necessitate the creation of an actual kidnapping insurance policy?

Well, Macau attracts some of the wealthiest Chinese millionaires. Or possibly billionaires. Bottom line? You have to add “onaires” when discussing their wealth, so they definitely have money. So what’s going on? Who’s kidnapping them?

In a nutshell, China’s economy is slowing, and that means those who lend money are relying primarily on tourists from the mainland. There’s a limit on the amount of currency visitors from China can take to Macau, so the big whales turn to local loan sharks to get their money.

These dealings with loan sharks have led to kidnappings right in guest hotel rooms. In the first six months of the year, an estimated 170 people were held for ransom against their will. That number could be even greater because the 170 figure represents cases that were actually reported.

inner209012015When kidnappings occur, families of the victims end up suing. That leaves the glitzy Macua hotels at risk, so this insurance policy covers those lawsuits.

This is pretty scary, but it’s not something the average casino player has to worry about in Macau, Vegas, or anywhere else. The truth is that these kidnappings seem to be isolated to Macau and are the result of a government policy that has created the need for loan sharks. Plus, only billionaires are being targeted, not the average Joe with a couple Benjamins in his wallet.

Still, if you do happen to have a lot of money and you’re afraid of being kidnapped, there are a few things you can do to minimize your risk:

1) Hang up the suit. Instead, wear jeans and a t-shirt, preferably one with the name of the casino you’re playing it. You will not look like a high roller and kidnappers will likely stay away from you.

2) Don’t stay in an upgraded suite Sure, you can afford the $20,000-a-night baller’s suite, but chances are you’ll be less of a target if you stay in the standard, connected room with two double beds.

3) Eat at the buffet. Millionaires prefer $1,250 steak dinners with expensive wine. The average Joe hits the buffet and fills his plate for $11.99. Who do you think is more of a target for kidnapping?

If you’re still concerned about being kidnapped, just play online instead. At CoolCat Casino, you’ll find all your favorite casino games, including slots, table games, and specialty games. We’ve also got limits for players of all stripes, so whether you’re an average Joe who likes casino t-shirts and buffets or a big whale in a Giorgio Armani suit, you’ll fit right in.

Laura Barton

Laura Barton is a self-declared "adventurer". Highly energetic and unpredictable, you will never find her without something to read on her hands. She loves casinos, after all it's in her blood: her father was a Las Vegas mogul and a former owner of some of the largest casino entertainment chains in the US. Loves rock climbing, surfing and playing drums.