Dealers arrested for casino card cons

Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Issue 378, Page 1
Word count: 295
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Two dealers from a Cotai casino were arrested by the Judiciary Police (PJ) on Monday for allegedly being trained to remember cards sequences and then telling their accomplices before they were to place bets.

The PJ’s gaming-related Crime Division received a report from the casino which suspected their dealers of cheating out money from baccarat tables, police spokesman Chan Kin Hong said.

Five men were arrested including a 22-year-old and a 23-year-old dealer with one of the three masterminds coming from China’s Shangxi province.

Mr Chan said one of the dealers admitted to police that he was “invited” to participate in the scam and taken to a unit where he was trained on how to remember the sequence of about 10 cards when shuffled.

The dealer also said he would text the cards’ order to his accomplices whom he’d never met and then they would come to the gaming tables as a customer and place bets according to the information given.

Police believed the illegal organisation had been operating for a few months, adding the dealer told them he received a 20 percent share each time and had accumulated about HK$600,000 of illegal earnings in total.

The police spokesperson said the scam involved at least HK$3 million and the casino was still calculating the total loss.

The three purported gamblers arrested were all from Shangxi province aged 34, 36 and 37, while the 37-year-old surnamed Ma was one of the masterminds, Mr Chan said.

The other two masterminds were still on the run.

Police said the two dealers had no financial problems and believed that they were attracted to participate in the scam because of “greed”.

The five suspects will be sent to the Public Prosecutions Office and charged with organised crime and fraudulent gambling.

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