On October 11 Wednesday, a Chinese national was sentenced in jail for 25 weeks after he conspired with a casino dealer to cheat the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) casino in Singapore of over $24,000.
Wang Zhe, age 26, a Chinese native, had pleaded guilty to 22 charges of acquiring money by means of a fraudulent scheme or practice in a casino game. About 42 other similar charges were also taken into consideration.
Wang works at a factory in Singapore over the past three years, and he had a roommate/friend who works as a dealer at the MBS casino named Gao Fengfeng.
Sometime in March 2017, Gao shared a story with Wang that there were times while he was working at the casino, he had unintentionally overpaid patrons on a few occasions but he didn't get into trouble with the management.
Gao had then suggested to Wang that they work together to cheat the casino and then split the money equally. Of course, Wang agreed to the scam, since he regarded it to be an easy way to make money.
According to Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiam Jia Min, the duo carried out the scam via four methods: (1) Gao would make a winning payout to Wang even if he did not win, (2) he would forget to collect Wang's losing wager, (3) he would overpay Wang when he asked for a change of chips, or (4) he will make a winning payout even if Wang placed an invalid wager.
The duo would do any of the four methods on four different games that Gao was dealing at: Baccarat, Texas Hold'em, Three Card Poker, and Sic Bo. They did the dirty deed over eight days in July.
MBS suffered losses that varied anywhere from $25 to $1,000 each time. The biggest loss they discovered was on a single day on July 30, when Gao and Wang successfully managed to cheat MBS out of $11,225. Wang had spent part of his ill-gotten money, which reached $24,735, on personal luxuries, such as purchasing a Gucci brand wallet.
On July 31, 2017, Wang and Gao were arrested by the police at the casino area. Police were able to retrieve $2,050 worth of MBS casino chips, $13,812 in cash, and two Gucci wallets from them. Until now, no restitution has been made to the casino.
In mitigation, Wang expressed through his attorney that he is a first-time offender. He also stated he is willing to make restitution, but did not have the chance to do so because he was in remand and no one could bail him out.
District Judge Matthew Joseph, however, said that such claim should have been made known before the sentencing, and it is quite unbelievable he can make bail since the money seized by the police and the cash that Wang still has in his possession are believed to be proceeds of crime.
Wang was actually let off quite easily, as he could have been put behind bars for up to 7 years and fined up to $150,000, the maximum sentence for the crime they committed.
As for Gao, his case has not yet been heard.
Marina Bay Sands is one of the most popular casinos in the world. They opened their doors on April 27, 2010, featuring 2,561 rooms and they are the 6th biggest hotel in Asia, with an average estimate of 40 million people visiting the casino floor annually.