Thu, Sep 11, 10:08am by Dominic Ciconte
ONE of Australia’s biggest professional punters was gunned down in a Sydney street on Sunday, the apparent victim of an underworld assassination.
Peter Tan Hoang, 36, well-known for gambling in excess of $90 million in Australian casinos, was shot dead at Croydon Park in Sydney, pronounced dead after paramedics at the scene could not revive him.
Hoang, who also went by the name Peter Minh Nguyen, was due to stand trial in Melbourne next year. He was arrested at Crown Casino in 2012 for carrying $1.5 million in cash – alleged to be the proceeds of crime.
Ashfield Detective Inspector Nick Read said that the police were looking for friends and family to come forward and assist in the investigation.
“We are looking into his lifestyle but he was a known gambler who appeared to be living the high life,” Inspector Read said.
“At the moment we have not been able to find any next of kin and we would like anyone who knows him or may have seen something on Sunday morning to come forward.
“Police are keen to talk to the driver of a small silver hatchback with a rear spoiler seen near the corner of Geroges River Road and Dunmore street at the time of the murder.”
Mr Hoang is an orphaned Vietnamese refugee who reportedly built a fortune from nothing, earning a reputation for being one of Australia’s biggest and most succesful gamblers.
At a committal hearing in 2012, it was revealed that the now-deceased punter often left the Crown Casino with millions of dollars in cash after huge betting binges, some times in excess of $10 million in one session.
In addition to these casino binges, Hoang also won Tattslotto twice in 2013 – it’s unclear how much he invested in both draws.
AustralianGambling contacted Crown Casino’s Mahogany Room headquarters, where Hoang was known to be regular. A Crown spokesperson said that Crown would not be making any comment on Hoang, Sunday’s murder or the August trial.
Despite always vehemently claiming he was a straight-laced, honest gambler, Hoang had been shrowded in controversy well before his arrest in 2012. The Age has reported that he had not filed a tax return in 12 years, had never worked in Australia – apart from a brief stint in sales for Telstra – and had no legitimate source for the income and capital he was gambling at casinos around the country.
Hoang was declared a flight risk, had his passport taken away and was waiting for the trial, which was set for August 2015.
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