Australian Casino Sues High Roller for US$30m losses

  • An Australian casino is suing a Singapore businessman for not paying $30m in losses
  • The businessman claims the dealer made repeated mistakes while playing baccarat and that he does not owe them this money
  • This case will now go to the High Court in Singapore
An Australian casino is suing a Singapore high roller for not paying his losses of over $30m.
An Australian casino is suing a Singapore high roller for not paying his losses of over $30m.

Dealer “made mistakes”

An Australian casino is suing a high roller from Singapore for $30m. The casino in question is the Star Gold Coast in Queensland’s Gold Coast, which is operated by the Star Entertainment Group. Singaporean businessman Wong Yew Choy lost this sum when playing Baccarat at the casino. He was flown out to the casino by the operator during the summer of 2018.

Wong is a regular gambler at leading casinos all across the globe and earns many different types of incentives from these establishments. A marketing executive from Star Entertainment had extended the invitation to him.

They brought Wong to the facility on a private jet on July 26, 2018, and gave him AUS$200,000 in free money to begin playing with. Upon arrival, he allegedly made a request for a check cashing facility for a sum of US$30m.

He then provided a blank cheque and the casino approved his request, They gave him $30m worth of chips. In the next few days, there was the addition of another $7m.

After racking up significant losses, Wong put a stop to his playing on July 29. He claims that the losses were as a result of mistakes the dealer made.

In court, the high roller said that a senior executive at the casino group had persuaded him to continue playing. He also alleged that the casino acknowledged the dealer’s mistakes in writing.

Casino launches lawsuit

When the casino promised Wong that he would be subject to no more mistakes, he kept on playing. However, he allegedly said that if there were any more mistakes he would not be paying for the losses he made during his stay.

Wong then alleged that on August 1 there was another mistake. By September 7, there were losses of more than $30m on Wong’s account.

In Singapore, Wong gave an order to the bank not to process the payment. He said that he owed the casino nothing as there was another instance of a dealer mistake. In response, the casino group filed a high court lawsuit in Singapore for the $30m it says Wong owes them.

Wong intends to fight the lawsuit, saying it was “a matter of principle and intends to fully vindicate his decision to stop payment.”

He also told the court that he did not request the $30m facility in order to pay on credit and that it was the casino that wanted him to do so.

Importance of high rollers

High rollers are a very important variable in the success of a large casino. This is especially the case in the likes of Macau and Las Vegas. However, it is Asia that has a particularly large proportion of high roller gamblers.

Most of these players choose to play baccarat due to the tiny house edge. For example, in Macau, about 60% of total casino gaming revenues come from baccarat. Of this, 60% of the sum is from high rollers.

This is why the casinos look after the high rollers so well, by flying them out and extending generous lines of credit to them. Most high rollers play on a line of credit that will be paid at a later date.

There are instances where these debts are repaid. While the casino can file a civil suit, it is often not worth the time or cost involved. As a result, major casinos generally write off about 5% of their debts every year.

Naturally, when the sum is very high, such as in this case, then it makes sense for the casino to file a civil suit.