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Wong Yew Choy hits back at Queensland casino claims

Thu, Apr 18, 9:00am by Staff Writer

Court documents have revealed that Singaporean businessman Wong Yew Choy visited a Queensland casino in July last year.

Before his departure, he was supposed to pay a $43.2 million debt, but did no such thing, claiming that during his stay, dealers made mistakes, which weren’t specified.

Gamblers News is reporting that the Star Entertainment Queensland casino is ready to pursue the matter to collect the debt.

Mr Wong is telling his own version of the story, which is believed to be the greatest gambling debt, handed through court proceedings in Singapore.

High rollers have long extended their debts and this case was no different.

After playing baccarat for the week, Mr Wong returned to Singapore leaving the debt unsettled.

Previously, the businessman had given a security blank cheque, connected to an account in Singapore.

Not long after, the cheque bounced.

According to Mr Wong, there is more to the story.

Welcome bonus & credit granted

He said that due to an invitation from the Star’s VIP marketing head, he decided to make the trip, and by the time he arrived, was given $200,000 as a welcome bonus.

He was granted $40 million in credit at the beginning of the visit, but made a decision to quit the tables on July 29.

The decision was made after a dealer kept on making mistakes, which later on were admitted by the casino in writing.

At that moment, he declined to make any payments.

Convinced by VIP with the assurance there would be no more mistakes, he changed his mind and continued playing.

He also got a new $50 million credit.

In case there were more mistakes, he made it clear he won’t pay for the losses.

To corroborate the story, Mr Wong claimed that Star’s chief operating officer Kelvin Dodt on August 1 provided a latter acknowledging the mistakes and gave a promise there will be no more mistakes.

The mistakes kept occurring according to Mr Wong, so he returned to Singapore.

He made arrangements with his bank to cancel the check, which in his dealing with Star Casino was also a part of the agreement.

Wong’s lawyer, Abraham Vergis conveyed that through this case the goal is to prove his client acted accordingly, and the decision not to pay is fully justified.

He also added that his clients’ good reputation as a patron of casinos, welcomed around the world, and usually offered various incentive packages, which are issued thanks to the fact that Wong tends to be such a high-value guest.

VIP turnover down at The Star

It has been a challenging time for VIP turnover at the Star, with a 33 per cent drop reported in revenue in the six months to December 31, 2018 to $20.7 billion according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The house win rate was above average against Asian gamblers, mainly from China, in the half-year period, which helped drive the decline in turnover, The Star said on Thursday.

It explained that gamblers tended to play fewer hands and would tap out earlier when they lost their money faster.

Chief executive of The Star Entertainment Group Matt Bekier said there had also been a noticeable increase in “caution” exercised by wealthy foreign gamblers.

“The caution relates to uncertainly relating to the trade war between China and the US,” he said.

“They just don’t take as much risk as they might have 12 months ago.”

The Chinese economy recorded its slowest rate of growth in nearly three decades in 2018 after simmering trade tensions with America.

The Star’s rival casino company in Australia, Crown Resorts, this week also revealed that it had suffered a drop in spending by high-roller gamblers.

Crown’s executive chairman John Alexander also attributed this to China’s softening economy.

Gamblers operators across the globe have been gripped by growing uncertainty about how the fortunes of their lucrative high roller programs, where mainly Chinese punters playing baccarat can turn over thousands of dollars a hand.

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