This time it wasn't Rene who mistreated the waitstaff
We found out more information about the big blackjack tournament that we figure is how they're laundering the money...probably. The finer details of this plan are still a little sketchy because we're not exactly sure how the money comes out the other side and gets back to COIL. We are pretty sure that the people bringing the money in shouldn't have it, and are probably patsies in the whole scheme.
Rene will be right in the middle of the fray because he's bought his way in, and now Morris may take someone else's place. But still, now do we tie all this together to take the scheme down?
November 26, 2017
We catch Mitch up.
Back in the room, Morris calls out on the radio. “See if you can find out about a big tournament somewhere in town tomorrow. Mrs. Claus may be making an appearance there.”
What happens first – fat guy with little hat leaves, or the middle-aged lady leaves?
No, Mamba left…she got into a car we didn’t know about. Morris gets the $plates of her decent car…better than what her guests have been driving. It’s mid-afternoon.
Morris: Mrs. Claus is on the move…she’s heading into the city.
Morris breaks into a car while someone is watching, but hopefully not too closely. He follows Mamba.
No one’s quarry seems to be coming outside. Morris tails Mamba into town; she’s seeing the sights. She heads into a few casinos just to check it out, apparently. Mostly tourist stuff. She’s relaxing and enjoying herself.
Morris calls Rene and says he’s following our quarry around. While hanging out at the casinos, Morris finds out there is a big blackjack tournament at King Solomon’s tomorrow. 50k buy-in…which could be one bag’s worth of money. Can anyone buy in or is it a private event? It’s private…invitation only.
Alertness - +6…Mamba gets into her car and her last stop (at 10 pm) is at King Solomon’s Casino. Morris tails her badly into the casino, but she’s distracted. She’s looking around like before, but she also heads into the hotel section of the casino. She does not return to her vehicle.
Morris radios the others and says that our quarry has given him the slip…maybe staying here tonight. Simon and Ana decide it’s time to talk to their friend.
They knock and the door opens up to the chain. The woman they were following answers.
Ana: We want our money.
Woman: You are?
Ana: We represent King Solomon’s.
W: But my credit was just extended.
A: Extended to be paid off.
W: You don’t expect me to pay it off in a day, do you?
A: You just got paid right?
A: What else were you going to use the money for?
W: I was going to enter the tournament. That’s what you gave me the credit for.
A: King Solomon’s didn’t give you that…
W: If the casino didn’t, who did?
A: You tell me.
Simon: If we allow you to compete, when do we get our money?
A: As soon as the tournament’s over…how do you know I have money?
S: We’re collectors. We always know when our marks have money.
She’s not buying it, all of a sudden.
W: I don’t think you’re actually with King Solomon’s.
Ana pulls out a pistol.
W: What do you want? Just take the money then.
She unlocks the door, sets the duffel bag full of money in front of the door, and backs up.
A: We want the rest of our money too.
S: What are your chances in this tournament tomorrow?
W: I had a bad streak which is why I’m in debt…but I’ve been paying for years. Pretty good.
Simon to Ana: if we let her have this money and she pays us first, the other casinos can wait.
W: Yeah, I pay you guys back first.
S: If she doesn’t have a stake, she can’t pay us anything. The bosses must have given her credit and not told us.
W: Ok, thanks.
Rene gets peer pressured into talking to his other mark.
Simon, Ana, and Morris will head back to the Golden Sands to return the car and maybe break into Mamba’s room.
Rene checks his mark’s car which is unlocked. He finds the car registered to a Bubba Burton.
R: I’m from the casino as an extended concierge. I have you on my list for the tournament tomorrow…
BB: Oh, yes.
The guy opens the door for him.
BB: It’s still on?
R: Oh, yes. Just making sure there are no special requests. What time should we expect you?
BB: About 2 pm. Exchange my chips in the usual place?
Rapport 2 vs -1…
BB: The tournament is in the private rooms, so I’d use the main entrance.
BB: Up by the penthouse, right?
R: Of course. If there’s nothing else, then have a pleasant evening.
The rest of us head back to the Golden Sands. Morris wipes his fingerprints off the car and leaves it where he found it.
Mamba’s room seems quiet although the curtains are still drawn. Vent is still the way we left it.
We keep an eye on the parking lot to warn Simon, and he pops the lock into Mamba’s room easily…and slips on in. It’s the honeymoon suite of a crappy 30-year-old motel. It doesn’t look like a formal office. Nicer bed than the one we’ve got and a fireplace in the center. Nothing obvious left over. It doesn’t look like anyone’s been staying here. Any notepad by the phone or desk? Pencil lead trick!
Investigation…the cleaning crew must have left something behind. Crumpled up note with four names, including Bubba Burton. He takes the top sheet and the note, and leaves the room.
Morris breaks back into the room that he bugged and puts it back to normal. Then since we think we’re all done at the Golden Sands, we check out and head to town. Rene is at King Solomon’s place getting a room.
He rolls in to King Solomon’s and walks into the noisy casino. It is a three-level place…main floor is mostly slot machines; the downstairs looks like old mining tunnels. There are cameras in the corners. Lots of novelty mining machines down here…there is a popular restaurant here. Upstairs is a traditional card-and-dice room…it’s not as loud as the main floor filled with slot machines. Upstairs is decorated like a Victorian gentleman’s club (animal heads on the wall, etc.) and has a fancy steakhouse. Humorously enough there is an automated railway in here with railcars moving about the track.
Rene heads to the tables and starts to play. He starts throwing money around and generally being a big deal. The rest of us get to the casino and look around, finding Rene gambling upstairs. Eventually we spot him and he looks disapprovingly…from a payphone, we have him paged. He says he needs to get a room…one of the casino floor runners will make him a reservation in a suite. She comes back a short while later with a description of one of the suites…will this do, or would a regular room be better? Seriously…no, the suite will be fine.
When the room is ready, he excuses himself and heads upstairs. We rejoin him upstairs.
Hotel – 12 floors of standard rooms, 2 floors of suites, 2 floors of private rooms, and 2 floors of penthouses. Don’t need a key to get to the upper floors from the elevator.
Morris will start working on miniaturizing someone’s radio so Rene can wear a wire while he’s in the tournament. He’s got just the thing in his toolbox for this. (barely got a +3).
We call up room service asking for a serving lass about Ana’s size, and give her a drink of water. Ana disguises herself as an employee and goes to scope out the private betting area. She’s got her radio on the cart if needed. Simon hangs out in the stairwell if needed, when she makes some noise.
Ana wheels her cart upstairs. The floor is divided into three richly-appointed bars, covered tables, etc. There are a few people up here at one of the poker tables right now, but they’re not paying attention. It’s like someone cut a ballroom into thirds (and two of them are dark). The elevators were clear so she opens the door to the stairway and lets Simon up. Simon’s got his eyes peeled for Mamba (+6); Ana makes a circuit around the room without Simon.
She heads over to talk to the bartender. “What do you need – I didn’t order anything.”
A: I think I’ll be up here for the special event tomorrow. Anything I need to know about it?
BT: Our meeting’s at noon tomorrow to get ready for 3. It will be in Room 2 over there.
A: Ok, great. Hear anything else?
BT: Nothing. I’d guess it’s high stakes.
They both head into Room 2. It’s not lit very well because no one’s in there…how many tables? Several in here, although it doesn’t seem to be set up yet. Simon checks the existing tables for ways to cheat…Groovy Burglary. As far as he can tell, nothing yet. One large table in the middle of the room and some smaller tables, and they all seem on the up-and-up. Bar seems fine, and stocked (left from the last time).
Meanwhile Rene heads downstairs to rebuild his entourage and make sure that he’s having a good time. One of the patrons asks him if he’s in the game tomorrow, and he says that sounds like a fantastic idea…he asks one of the runners to get him into the game. Eventually someone in a nice suit and tie (not a uniform) comes back with the runner, scowling. Once he gets to Rene, he wipes the scowl off.
Dude: Michael says you requested my assistance?
R: Yes, yes. He was getting me into the big blackjack game tomorrow.
Dude: Well, it’s a high entrance fee…but if you wanted to become part of the tournament, show up on floor 15 at 2 pm tomorrow. It’s a 50,000 fee.
Upstairs, Simon concludes it looks fine up here for now so they sneak back down.
How do we handle Natalie, the waitress that Ana is impersonating? Hm.
How exactly are we going to stop the money laundering? Burn the paperwork showing the list of debtors?
One other thing we just remembered…we need to intercept Bubba so he doesn’t recognize Rene. Maybe we’ll have to take him out and that’s Morris’s entry fee. We do know where he’s coming in from, and when…
Simon: Screw this. I’m breaking into the manager’s office.
Kevin: It would be better to make the connections. Take the methodical approach.
Kevin: How is it that all these high roller games happen here? Who really owns this place? That might involve breaking in…
Morris heads downstairs to catch Rene’s attention while Simon radios him…we’ll be gone for a few hours. We find an empty room, leave Natalie in the unoccupied room with a robe, a wad of cash, and a note saying, “Sorry for the inconvenience.”
Then we roll out to accost Bubba. Simon hammers on his door and he mumbles that he’s coming. He speaks through the door…Simon says this is about the illegal gambling game. Bubba asks about calling the police…Simon says he’s already here.
Some of the money he’s got *must* have been sprayed.
Simon describes the duffel bag. He twitches a little bit; Morris and Simon both notice it.
Morris: Yeah, that’s the one.
Bubba: Why does everyone know I’ve got this?
We enter and sit down for a chat.
He’s got the money…extended the credit at the hotel so he was going to try to pay off his debts. He was invited to play and earn some winnings back. If he wins, he can pay off what he owes.
Simon: If you owe them money, why would they loan you more?
He’s played in other games before but not this one.
M: We think this game might be rigged.
S: Any signs you got to throw a hand?
Thug Bob told him to go to the Golden Sands at X time. They had someone who’d give him money if he traded it for chips. He’s never met her before.
We tell him he’s being set up…he’s surprised to find he’s going to lose, and we tell him he’s going to end up farther in debt. If he turns the money over, he won’t be able to pay them off and they’ll come after him.
Turns out Simon now has a point of Contacts…he rings one of his boys and calls in a favor. We can keep Bubba safe and at least get him out from under King Solomon’s thumb.
We wait around for Simon’s buddy, and ask him about who owns King Solomon’s. His contact says it’s owned by a guy named Vegas Vinny (Vincent DeMarco). As far as this guy knows, he’s not mobbed up. He’s a big time wheeler-dealer around down…even though it sounds like it.
We don’t bother shaking anyone else down tonight since we figure they’re just pawns.
Can Rene find out how big this game is going to be? Or who’s running the casino? He *is* Section 6…Asking if there are other games like this may be reasonable. Asking how big the game is because he might have bitten off too much, not so much – no betraying one’s confidence.
Finances roll – what’s different here vs. Monte Carlo, etc…it seems like King Solomon’s is more eager to hand out credit than most casinos. A lot of people, but not everyone, can get extra credit beyond what they should be able to do. And you don’t get it just by asking nicely. These are people who have no business getting this kind of credit.
Are we missing something? Money comes to these schlubs who owe money to the casino. They bring dirty money in to buy chips, then get in the game. But, the casino pays the money out at the end…unless the game is rigged and one of their plants wins it. There’s no other way for them to make money at this which is probably the goal of the whole thing.
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