Casino cheat gets a year's jail

Chua Lai Huat, 66, colluded with croupiers to gain an advantage in the three-card poker game by getting them to reveal the value of the playing cards to him, among other things.
Chua Lai Huat, 66, colluded with croupiers to gain an advantage in the three-card poker game by getting them to reveal the value of the playing cards to him, among other things.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A Singaporean who colluded with three Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) casino croupiers to cheat at poker was jailed for a year yesterday.

Chua Lai Huat, 66, who pleaded guilty to 10 charges, colluded with croupiers to gain an advantage in the three-card poker game by getting them to reveal the value of the playing cards to him.

The unemployed man also obtained an advantage for himself by creating a bent mark at the corners of the aces and kings in the cards.

Chua won $12,915 but has not made any restitution so far.

Two of the dealers who were part of the fraudulent arrangement - Chinese national Zhang Zhijiu, 40, and Choo Hui Yong, 27, a Malaysian - were jailed last month for their role in the scheme. A third, Chinese national Sun Shihong, 38, is on the run.

The court heard that an RWS surveillance manager saw Chua bending the edges of the aces and kings, dealt to him by Zhang, at the poker table on July 14 this year.

He also noticed Zhang flashing the last card in the dealer's deck to Chua. Both actions gave Chua an unfair advantage in the game. A review of the CCTV footage for a one- month period, from June 13, showed that Chua had also bent the cards at the game tables manned by Sun and Choo, who had also flashed the last card in the dealer's deck to Chua.

Some time in May, Chua had befriended Zhang and suggested that he flash the last card to him to give him an advantage in the game. Chua promised to pay Zhang 20 per cent of the day's winnings.

Chua's lawyer Ronald Ng said his client actually lost money overall, and owed RWS $45,000.

Twenty-six other charges were taken into consideration. Chua could have been fined up to $150,000 and jailed for up to seven years for each charge.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2015, with the headline 'Casino cheat gets a year's jail'. Print Edition | Subscribe