Star Sydney Casino employee jailed over illegal betting scam in New South Wales

| By Robert Fletcher
A former employee of Australian operator Star Entertainment has been failed for two years over an illegal betting scam at a land-based casino in New South Wales.

Hieu Duc Lam was working at Star Sydney Casino as a baccarat dealer in 2020 when he was caught on CCTV colluding with another employee and patron to cheat the casino. 

Footage showed Lam looking at and memorising a number of cards that were to be used in a game of baccarat. He then used a secure messaging app on his phone to inform his accomplice – a player in the upcoming game – of the order of the cards.

The scam led to the casino losing AUD467,700 (£249,939/€291,843/US$343,905) in less than a month.

Lam was sacked and convicted of 15 counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage in the Local Court of New South Wales – Downing Centre. 

He was also sentenced to an aggregate term of imprisonment of two years, which will run from 9 July 2021 to 8 July 2023, and was ordered to perform 250 hours community service work.

In addition, the New South Wales Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) cancelled Lam’s gaming licence.

“A casino special employee is licensed to supervise and facilitate gaming activities,” ILGA chair Philip Crawford 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 incident comes after two other employees at the casino in March were dismissed and convicted in courtafter attempting to steal over $30,000 in gaming chips.

In December last year, two other members of staff at the facility were banned from casinos in New South Wales for five years following serious misconduct.

A gaming attendant, who admitted to having gambling issues, was found to have placed 28 bets on a gambling app while on shift. An off-duty games dealer, meanwhile, was caught disposing of illicit drugs in a public area of the casino.

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