Singapore Casino Dealer Sent to Jail for Stealing Chips
July 9th, 2020 8.00pm
Having a gambling problem can not only hurt your relationship and health but can leave you in serious debt.
Today, operators around the world are focused on providing their customers with a safe gambling environment, while at the same time offering help to those in need.
For example, here in the UK, players can use the GAMSTOP platform, which allows problem gamblers to restrict their online activities. The NHS, on the other hand, offers free information, counselling and support.
Being a problem gambler and working in a casino is not a good combination, and the story we have for you today perfectly illustrates our claim.
When a Gambling Problem Spirals Out of Control
Yeoh Zhong Cheng came from Malaysia to Singapore in July 2017, to work as a dealer at Resorts World Sentosa, one of just two casinos doing business in this Asian country.
It didn’t take him long to develop a bad gambling habit, which led him to start borrowing money from loan sharks. Unfortunately for him, his debt quickly amounted to more than £51,000!
Since he was working in a casino, Yeoh soon started stealing chips from his workplace to pay off his debt. He continued doing so until he was caught taking three chips by surveillance cameras last summer.
A subsequent investigation uncovered the full scale of his wrongdoing, as Yeoh had managed to steal more than £70,000 in casino chips! The authorities took over the case, and the former baccarat dealer was charged with stealing. This week, he was sentenced to 20 months in jail.
According to his own statement, he had been stealing casino chips to return the money to loan sharks in Singapore and his own country.
Shocking Details of the Inquiry
Let’s go back to the summer of 2019 when Yeoh was caught removing three casino chips from a tray attached to a baccarat table. Each of the chips was worth around £600. This alerted casino management and led to a thorough inquiry.
The end results were a bit shocking, as it was discovered that Yeoh had stolen over £70,000 in chips on 28 occasions during June and July 2019. After removing them from the casino premises, he would hide them in his shirt. He used his breaks to conceal them in his personal locker.
It soon became clear that Yeoh wasn’t acting alone, as he wasn’t able to cash the chips by himself. The inquiry revealed he had two accomplices, his brother, Yeoh Zhong Jie, and a friend of his, Ooi Shi Chao.
The court documents showed that Yeoh and Ooi had met on eight occasions during June, with the latter receiving more than £17,000 in stolen chips. Yeoh’s brother got around £20,000 in chips during July.
Spending 20 months in prison is no summer holiday, but Yeoh could have received up to 15 years in prison for “misappropriation of casino chips”, while his accomplices could have ended up spending up to 10 years behind bars. He pleaded guilty to breach of trust and was thus saved from a larger sentence.
It remains unclear whether Yeoh’s brother and his friend were charged at all. However, according to the court filings, all stolen chips have been returned to the casino.
Resorts World Sentosa has a history of poor choices when it comes to human resources. Back in 2018, a Chinese national who worked as a dealer was caught stealing chips from a table. It was later discovered that Ding Zhipeng had stolen more than £42,000 in casino chips, while he used the money to buy luxurious goods.
He stole casino chips to pay off his gambling debt