Man who colluded with casino dealer to cheat Marina Bay Sands jailed

Nigel Chin
A Chinese national was jailed on 11 October 2017 for cheating at Marina Bay Sands casino

A man who colluded with a casino dealer to cheat Marina Bay Sands (MBS) of more than $24,000 was jailed 25 weeks on Wednesday (11 October).

Wang Zhe, a 26-year-old Chinese national, pleaded guilty to 22 charges of obtaining money by a fraudulent scheme or practice in a casino game. Forty-two other similar charges were taken into consideration.

The court heard that Wang, a factory worker who has been working in Singapore in the last three years, was a roommate and a friend of Gao Fengfeng, a dealer at MBS casino.

Sometime in March 2017, Gao shared with Feng that over the course of his work in the casino, he had unintentionally overpaid patrons on a few occasions but did not get into trouble with the management as it was normal to make mistakes.

Gao then suggested to Wang that they collude with each other to cheat the casino and split the money equally. Wang agreed to the scam as he saw it as an easy way of making money.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiam Jia Min said that the pair did so through four methods. Gao would either forget to collect Wang’s losing wager, or make a winning payout to Wang even though he did not win, or make a winning payout even though Wang placed an invalid wager, or overpay Wang when he requested for a change of chips.

The pair would do so over four different games that Gao was dealing at: Texas Hold’em, Baccarat, Three Card Poker, and Sic Bo. The crimes were done over eight days in July.

The losses that MBS suffered ranged from $25 to $1,000 each time. The biggest loss incurred on a single day was on 30 July, when Gao and Wang managed to cheat MBS of $11,225. Wang spent part of his ill-gotten proceeds – which totalled $24,735 – on personal expenses, including buying a Gucci brand wallet.

Wang and Gao were arrested by the police on 31 July 2017 at the casino. Police recovered and seized $13,812 in cash,  $2050 worth of MBS casino chips, two Gucci wallets from them. No restitution has been made to the casino till date.

In mitigation, Wang said through his lawyer that he is a first-time offender. He also said that he is willing to make restitution, but did not have the opportunity to do so as he was in remand and nobody could bail him out.

However, District Judge Matthew Joseph said that such issues should have been made known before sentencing, while the money seized by the police, as well as some cash that Wang still has in possession are believed to be proceeds of crime.

Wang could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined up to $150,000. Gao’s case has not yet been heard.

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