ASX 200 employee busted stealing $470,000: Watch it unfold

Two years’ imprisonment for a casino staffer who peeked at baccarat cards and tipped off his co-conspirator.

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A former staffer of an S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) company has been convicted of his involvement in an illegal gambling scam.

A NSW local court heard that Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR) baccarat dealer Hieu Duc Lam stole $467,700 from his employer by allowing an accomplice to cheat.

Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) chair Philip Crawford said employees in the gambling industry held “special positions of responsibility”.

“A casino special employee is licensed to supervise and facilitate gaming activities,” he said. 

“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.”

The court sentenced Lam to an aggregate of 2 years’ imprisonment, to be served as an intensive corrections order. He is due to be released in July next year.

Lam also must complete 250 hours of community service.

Star Entertainment shares lost 2.27% on Monday to trade at $3.45 in the afternoon. The ASX 200 stock has lost almost 6% in the past month, courtesy of a COVID-19 resurgence in Australia’s largest city.

How the employee cheated The Star casino

Closed-circuit television showed Lam conspiring with a colleague and a customer to cheat The Star casino in Sydney.

The video showed Lam peeking to memorise a batch of cards that were about to be used in a game of baccarat.

Lam then used a secure messaging app on his phone to tip off the order of the cards to his co-conspirator, who was a player in the upcoming game.

The ASX 200 company lost almost $500,000 in less than a month to the group, according to the ILGA.

Once the scam was uncovered, The Star sacked Lam and self-reported the conduct to the ILGA.

The court then found Lam guilty of 15 charges of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage. The ILGA has also cancelled his gaming licence.

Lam’s sentencing comes on the back of another two staffers from The Star busted in March for trying to steal more than $30,000 in gaming chips.

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