Four Taiwanese have been implicated in an alleged card-counting scheme that defrauded a Singaporean casino of S$433,730 (US$317,495), the Straits Times reported.
The group of gamblers, described as a “foreign syndicate” consisting of four Taiwanese and two Malaysians, allegedly used concealed Bluetooth communication devices and Excel spreadsheets to win card games at the Marina Bay Sands casino in December last year, the newspaper reported last week, citing court documents.
The technologically enabled breach of Singapore’s Casino Control Act was the first of its kind in the city-state, the paper said.
BACK AND FORTH
Under the scheme, a female syndicate member, designated as “The Sorcerer,” would use a concealed Bluetooth earpiece connected to her mobile phone to transmit information on the cards being dealt at a table, the Straits Times said.
An accomplice, known as “The Marksman,” would then input that information into a spreadsheet to calculate the odds for an optimal bet, which would then be relayed back to The Sorcerer, it said.
Court documents did not disclose details about the formula used in the spreadsheet, it added.
A Malaysian man identified as Tan Kian-yi, 35, on Tuesday last week pleaded guilty to four charges under the Casino Control Act, the newspaper said.
Taiwanese Hung Jung-hao, 27, and Malaysian Chai Hee-keong, 46, were indicted as Tan’s co-conspirators earlier this year, it said, adding that their cases are pending.
Three other Taiwanese — Wang Yu, 22; his girlfriend, Hung yu-wen, 24; and Hung Jung-hao’s girlfriend, Chou Yu-lun, 26 — are also identified in court documents as alleged members of the syndicate, it said.
The outcomes of their cases were not disclosed in court documents, it added.
Tan’s lawyers said that there is no evidence to show that the betting formula could have affected the odds of a game, an argument the court rejected.
The Casino Control Act stipulates that card-counting is a crime punishable by a fine of up to S$150,000, and engaging in the activity as part of an organized act is punishable by a fine of up to S$300,000 and seven years in prison.
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