Former MBS casino staff fined $16,000 for 'false rating' offences

Tan Guan Xi, a former dealer supervisor with the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) casino, was fined $16,000 on Thursday for illegally awarding membership points to a friend. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Tan Guan Xi, a former dealer supervisor with the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) casino, was fined $16,000 on Thursday for illegally awarding membership points to a friend. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A former dealer supervisor with the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) casino was fined $16,000 on Thursday for illegally awarding membership points to a friend, in the first "false rating" case to be dealt with here.

The term refers to the act of dishonestly 'rating' casino members with points although they have not turned up and patronised the facility.

Between Sept 20, 2010 and May 27, 2012, Tan Guan Xi, 38, repeatedly keyed his friend's membership number into the casino's system, causing the equivalent of $7,676.75 in reward points to accrue to the account. He did this 460 times on 114 different occasions.

His friend, 57-year-old Yap Kah Hsiang, used the reward points to redeem some $5,605.83 in products and services at the casino's affiliated stores. He also had his membership status upgraded from "Gold" to "Diamond" as a result of Tan's acts.

The court heard that the points system can be accessed from each game table in the MBS casino by the dealer supervisor or pit manager. Supervisors provide ratings either by swiping patrons' cards - causing the system to automatically track their playing time and bets placed - or manually keying in the membership number.

Tan committed the offences by making use of the latter method, which should be executed only when the membership card is faulty or the system is unable to detect it.

According to Tan, Yap had approached him sometime in early 2010 and requested his help to "add points to his membership card" while he was not at the casino. Tan agreed.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kumaresan Gohulabalan said Tan had abused the trust placed in him, over a period of almost two years. The offences were hard to detect and Tan was the only person in a position to commit them.

The prosecutor noted, however, that the amount involved was not particularly large. He added that most of the ill-gotten points had been seized before they could be used, and restitution had been made for the remainder.

Tan pleaded guilty to eight of 460 charges of computer misuse. For each, he could have been jailed for up to three years and fined up to $10,000.

The case against Yap is still pending at the pre-trial conference stage.