crown casino
Melbourne's Crown Casino loses £22m (Wiki Commons)

An Ocean's 11-style heist stung a casino in Melbourne for £22m, the biggest ever theft in its 19-year history and the largest casino theft in Australia.

The Crown casino was infiltrated by a grifter, or con artist, through a member of staff, who has since been fired. Police, the casino and Victoria state's gaming regulator are investigating the heist.

The gambler, known as a "whale" - someone who wins and loses huge amounts - had been staying in a villa at Crown Towers, reported the Herald Sun.

A casino spokesman said: "Crown's surveillance department recently reported concerns over a sophisticated betting scam."

It is believed that the casino worker sent signals to the gambler, telling him how to bet based on what he could see on the casino's CCTV monitors.

When the ploy was uncovered, staff at Crown Towers went to the high-roller's accommodation and told him to leave. It is thought he has returned to his home country.

Barron Stringfellow, an international gambling security consultan,t told ABC News: "Through a wireless transmission to his ear during his eight hands of play, he was told exactly what plays would be beneficial to make.

"The problem with casinos is that they believe they are unbeatable. And we see over and over again that they're not unbeatable.

"If casinos would monitor for wireless transmissions, they would be able to thwart these plans at the onset."

The casino spokesman said they are "in a good position to recover a significant portion of the amount involved in the scam".

Few casino heists succeed because of the ultra-high security measures. However, in 1992, a cashier working at the Stardust Casino in Las Vegas put $500,000 (£331,000) into his backpack and walked out of the front door.

Bill Brennan has not been seen or heard from since and is still on the FBI's most wanted list.