Casino dealer

Sydney casino dealer sent to jail for stealing A$500,000

A former baccarat dealer at Star Sydney, the city’s only casino, has been convicted for his role in an illicit scheme that resulted in the casino being defrauded of almost A$500,000.

The Guardian reported last week that Hieu Duc Lam was captured on CCTV in collusion with two other people – a fellow casino staff and a customer – in August 2020.

The convicted trafficker was caught peek and memorize playing cards which were later used in an upcoming game. Once he memorized the cards, he then informed his accomplice – a customer participating in the scheduled game – of his order.

The scam saw Lam and his accomplices walking around illegally AU$467,700 of the casino in just under a month. The thief was fired immediately by his employer, Australian casino operator The Star Entertainment Group.

In January, Lam pleaded guilty to 15 counts of dishonesty for obtaining a financial advantage in Downing Center Local Court in Sydney. He was sentenced to two years in prison whom he is to serve through an intensive corrective order that began earlier in July. He was also ordered to complete 250 hours of community service as part of his sentence.

The star self-declared the misconduct

It is understood that The Star has reported the misconduct to the relevant authorities. Philip Crawford, chairman of the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA), said the casino was right to fire Lam from his job because he had held a position of responsibility which he had obviously abused.

Mr. Crawford further explained that a “the special casino employee is authorized to supervise and facilitate gaming activities” and that the role of this employee is to help protect the integrity of casino operations criminal influence, gross negligence or exploitation. The official also noted that a “special degree of confidence” is placed on those casino employees and that Lam’s case demonstrates an apparent breach of that trust.

ILGA, a statutory decision-making unit tasked with a host of regulatory functions for casinos, liquor, registered clubs and gaming, also canceled the thief’s licence.

News of Lam’s sentence emerged shortly after two other Star staffers were fired and sentenced after a failed attempt to steal over 30,000 Australian dollars in casino gambling chips in March.

The Star is Sydney’s only operational casino. The city’s long-standing property monopoly was set to end early this year with the opening of a gambling site at Crown Sydney, Crown Resort’s recently launched luxury mixed-use tower. However, an 18-month investigation into the company’s operations revealed that it was not fit to operate a casino in New South Wales.

In May, The Star Entertainment Group filed a proposal for A $12 billion merger with rival Crown but pulled out last week, citing uncertainties clouding the latter company.

Source: Sydney Star Casino baccarat dealer convicted of $500,000 illegal betting scamThe Guardian, July 24, 2021