Former Star gaming supervisor sentenced for fraud offences

by Noah Taylor Last Updated
Star Gold Coast chases unpaid debt 

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

The Daily Telegraph reports 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.

Star aware VIP business return will be slow

Star Entertainment is aware that international VIP business at its casinos will require even more time to fully recover.

Tunf reports Star chief executive Matt Bekier stated this business “is stolen” and may need another year.

For this reason, the company decided to sell one of its private jets and abandon its “VIP motor yacht” for now.

The company is handling only five per cent of normal VIP volume, Mr Bekier said, who explained some of the casino’s former clients “just don’t feel comfortable coming back to private places.”

However, he said that those who return now are “spending more”.

The Sydney casino is currently operating at full capacity but with some restrictions, which “bodes well that restrictions have been eased,” Mr Bekier added.

The Australian casino operator reported bumper losses due to the closure of gambling venues to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Its results released this week showed revenue of around A$1.5 billion for the fiscal year ending June 30, a 31 per cent drop compared to the same period a year ago.

In all, a loss of A$94 million was reported by Star.

Australian casinos report “normalised” results, where there appeared to be no variation from VIP gambling, with reported revenue only declining 21 per cent to A$1.8 billion.

Star’s managing director John O’Neill said the company made record profits during the period of July 2019 to February 2020.

The company’s balance sheet shows the overall VIP gaming revenue fell 51 per cent in 2019 to A$285 million.

The Sydney property’s contribution was A$262 million, despite the casino getting a slight win in its VIP win.

The Star failed to achieve a 30-year monopoly on the Gold Coast, but it has control of gaming machines in Sydney for the same period.

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