Star Sydney baccarat dealer convicted for $500,000 betting scam

Star Entertainment

A former employee of Sydney’s Star Casino has been convicted for his part in an illegal betting scam that New South Wales’ Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority says “cheated the casino out of almost A$500,000” in 2020.

Hieu Duc Lam, a baccarat dealer, was captured on CCTV footage colluding with another employee, with footage showing him peeking and memorising a number of cards that were to be used in an upcoming game.

Once Lam had memorised the cards, he would then use a secure messaging app on his phone to inform his accomplice, a player in the upcoming game, of the order. That individual would then participate in the game knowing what cards were coming. The scam netted $467,700 in less than a month.

Lam was subsequently sacked by The Star and convicted of 15 counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage in the local court of NSW – Downing Centre.

He has been sentenced to an aggregate term of imprisonment of two years, to be served the way of an intensive correction order that commenced on July, 9, 2021 and will expire on July 8, 2023. He is also required to perform 250 hours community service work.

Philip Crawford, ILGA chair, said The Star self-reported the misconduct in line with its obligations, and was right to sack its employee as they held special positions of responsibility in the industry.

“A casino special employee is licensed to supervise and facilitate gaming activities,” he commented. “Their role is to help safeguard the integrity of casino operations from criminal influence, serious misconduct or exploitation, and a special degree of trust is placed in them. This case demonstrates a clear breach of that trust.”

In addition to his criminal conviction, ILGA, on application by NSW Liquor and Gaming, cancelled Lam’s gaming licence.

Lam’s case comes after two Star Casino employees were sacked and convicted after attempting to steal more than $30,000 in gaming chips in March.