Two men caught in Star gambling scam

by Mia Chapman Last Updated
Two men caught in Star gambling scam

Two men have been charged after stealing $570,000 cash and $170,000 in chips from Sydney’s Star Casino.

The Daily Mail reports the two men have been charged for their alleged crimes, which were part of an alleged betting scam.

Ziyi Liui and Hieu Duc Lam, were arrested on September 9 for their alleged involvement in the baccarat scam.

The New South Wales Police Organised Crime Squad’s Casino and Racing Investigation Unit established a strike force in early September to investigate the men.

Police will allege Lam, a former employee of the casino, dealt Liu cards during three games and the men communicated to win.

Liu was taken into custody at a casino car park in Sydney and Lam was also arrested at home in Canley Heights, western Sydney.

Police executed a search warrant at the Canley Heights home and seized the cash, electronic storage devices and US currency.

Another search warrant was carried out at a unit at Ryde, where investigators seized more than $300,000 in cash and casino chips.

Both men were charged with three counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and participating in a criminal group contributing criminal activity.

Liu appeared at Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday where he entered pleas of not guilty on all charges.

Court documents alleged Liu cheated on three occasions while he was playing baccarat between September 7 and 8.

He allegedly pocketed sums of $24,000, $32,000 and $44,000 and will appear again on November 11.

Lam appeared at Liverpool Local Court on Wednesday and his matter was adjourned until the second week of November.

Both men have been granted strict conditional bail.

The organised crime squad’s casino and racing investigation unit acting Detective Inspector John Cosgrove said their scam was quickly noticed.

“These types of things are picked up fairly quickly with the systems and processes at the casino and the police investigated that, and gathered the evidence to put these men before the court.

“In general terms, there is a lot of cameras, you are under constant surveillance down there and your actions and movements are monitored.”

Former Star gaming supervisor sentenced for fraud offences

A man who took gambling chips from Star Casino has been sentenced by a Sydney court.

The Daily Telegraph reported in early September that Justin Ly took more than $90,000 worth of gambling chips from the casino, with the court told his scan was possible due to the complex’s poor security system.

Mr Ly will spend the next eight months locked inside his Bonnyrigg home after he was sentenced for repeatedly manipulating dealers to hand over thousands of dollars’ worth of chips. 

The 23-year-old was employer as a gaming supervisor and would lie to dealers about a ‘customer’ – his criminal accomplice – who had gone to the bathroom and left behind a number of gambling chips, typically valued at about $7500.

When the ‘customer’ would return, Ly would order the dealer to pay out the ‘owed’ money in chips.

The scam was successfully executed dozens of times across months in 2019.

The court heard the scam was undertaken to fund Mr Ly’s own gambling addiction, which was already intense before he began working at the casino.

Magistrate Michael Antrum said the young man took advantage of what he believed was a “poor security system” and used his “knowledge of how the system operated.”

The Bonnyrigg man is now attending weekly sessions to address his gambling problem and is on a doctor-issued mental health plan, with a court-ordered report stating he is a low risk of reoffending.

Outside court, Mr Ly spoke of the crippling addiction which led him down the criminal path.

“Gambling is pretty bad, I guess that’s what made me do that,” he said.

Mr Ly was convicted of fraud by deception and placed on an eight-month intensive correction order, to be served by home detention.

He was also ordered to repay Star $83,500.

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