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Australia – Star Casino employee found guilty of baccarat scam

By - 27 July 2021

A former Star Casino employee has been convicted for his part in an illegal betting scam which cheated the Australian casino out of almost $500,000 in 2020.

Mr Hieu Duc Lam, a baccarat dealer, was captured on CCTV footage colluding with another employee and patron to cheat the casino. Footage shows Mr Lam peeking and memorising a number of cards that were to be used in an upcoming game of baccarat. Once Mr Lam had memorised the cards, he would then use a secure messaging app on his phone to inform his accomplice, a player in the upcoming game, the order of the cards.

The player would then participate in the game knowing what cards were coming. The scam netted $467,700 in less than a month. Mr Lam was sacked by The Star and convicted of 15 counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage in the Local Court of NSW – Downing Centre.

Mr Lam has been sentenced to an aggregate term of imprisonment of two years, to be served way of Intensive Correction Order that commenced on 9 July 2021 and will expire on 8 July 2023. He is also required to perform 250 hours community service work.

Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) Chair, Philip Crawford said The Star self-reported the misconduct in line with its obligations and was right to sack its employee as they held special positions of responsibility in the industry.

“A casino special employee is licensed to supervise and facilitate gaming activities,” Mr Crawford said. “Their role is to help safeguard the integrity of casino operations from criminal influence, serious misconduct or exploitation, and a special degree of trust is placed in them. This case demonstrates a clear breach of that trust.”

In addition to his criminal conviction, ILGA, on application by NSW Liquor and Gaming, cancelled Mr Lam’s gaming licence. Mr Lam’s case comes after two Star Casino employees were sacked and convicted after attempting to steal more than $30,000 in gaming chips in March.

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