Land-based casinos normally have CCTV equipment installed in order to help catch any and every suspicious activity lurking at their casino floors. It is mainly designed to catch player cheats. However, in one incident at the Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), their surveillance cameras helped catch one of their very own employees.
A (now former) dealer from RWS allegedly stole at least S$77,000 worth of $1,000 chips and used the money from it to purchase luxury goods for himself and he also gifted some to his girlfriend.
Slipped Chips when Sup wasn't looking
Ding Zhipeng, age 28 and of Chinese descent, began working at RWS as a dealer at one of the gaming tables in July 2017. However, sometime in May or June 2018, the temptation to steal crossed his mind and when he was able to successfully take away some $1,000 chips, greed became so strong that he stole some more.
To avoid being noticed, he only stole when there were no patrons at his table and his supervisor wasn't looking. He enlisted the aid of a friend to cash out the chips for him so he will remain free from any suspicion.
However, his miscalculation was that he forgot one crucial, inanimate thing about casinos - there were hundreds of "eyes" in the form of surveillance cameras installed everywhere you go.
Bought luxury goods using stolen money
His repetitive crime was exposed when a surveillance personnel saw him illegally taking chips from his table in November 2018. The personnel quickly called the police.
Authorities then conducted a search at the room he rented. They found $3,000 in cash and 74 chips, two of which he had hidden in his pants. The entire sum recovered was S$77,000.
Lawyer says accused suffered from stress as foreign worker
Ding had admitted to one count of criminal breach of trust, one of possessing the casino chips outside of RWS, and one count of converting benefits from criminal conduct. Thirteen more counts of a similar nature were also considered for his sentencing.
This story doesn't end there. In fact, stealing from the casino wasn't actually the worst part of his crime.
According to his attorney, Ding was stressed and therefore "resorted to improper channels to make extra cash" for his family back in China.
However, that argument doesn't hold much since he used the ill-gotten money to buy luxury goods for his girlfriend and himself.
His portrayed sob story became moot because of what he eventually did with some of the stolen money - he bought a Breitling watch worth $6,000, $400 Chanel earrings, Balenciaga shoes and pouch, an iPad mini and an iPhone - hardly things that would help out a family in need.
For criminal breach of trust, Ding could have faced up to 7 years behind bars plus a possible fine. For possessing casino chips outside of a designated area, he could have faced 5 years behind bars and be fined up to $150,000, or both. For converting the benefits of criminal conduct, he could have a jail sentence of up to 10 years and possibly fined up to $500,000.
On June 20, Thursday, he was sentenced to only a jail term of 9 months and 6 weeks, and fined $12,000 for his offenses. Should he fail to pay the fine, he will have to serve an extra 3 weeks behind bars.