Cheating in a land-based casino in any country is hard. With pit bosses roaming around the casino floor making sure that everything is in order, you would think that surely nobody could wrangle a simple gambling game and come away with tens of thousands of dollars worth of cash, even if they had an inside man. But what can you do when that inside man happens to be one of the legendary pit bosses themselves?
This is exactly what happened in a Singaporean casino and for their crimes Singapore’s legendarily harsh criminal punishments have been handed out to three men, all accused of being involved in the scam which dates back to October 2010.
Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands has seen thirty one thousand five hundred Singaporean dollars swindled from its funds after a dealer, a pit boss and a gambler all got together to put the system to the sword.
Gambler Steven Tan Tiong Loon who is also accused of gambling on sports in Singapore – illegal in Singapore unless from a licensed government sports betting business – figured out a way to cheat the Money Wheel game out of cash, by assisting the help of the casino’s pit boss, one Keith Yong Kee.
Mr. Yong would gently place his finger on the wheel whilst he assumed dealer Kenneth Lim Khan Lerk wasn’t looking, gently manipulating the wheel in the favor of gambler Steven Tan Tiong Loon. After several successful attempts, his plan backfired though when the dealer caught site of the cheating and threatened to report it to his supervisors.
A small token of hush money, believed to be in the range of one thousand Singaporean dollars caused the dealer to reconsider, only for him to insist on another two thousand shortly after. The greedy dealer asked for more and more in order for the gambler and pit boss to profit by the scam any further and after his request for seven thousand dollars the gig was up. The casino’s security team managed to figure out the ploy and the three were arrested.
The Singaporean criminal laws, which many argue aren’t always fair and are world renowned for being tough, handed a six month prison sentence to pit boss Yong. Cheating gambler Tan received a paltry ten months in prison for attempting to cheat the casino. The biggest loser was the greedy dealer Lim, who not only got five years in prison but could also have to face $1,000 fines for each of his three charges. The Singaporean authorities it seems feel as though the dealer, as a trusted member of the casino and the one in charge of the Money Wheel, should have known better.