Singapore Businessman Sued for AU$43M Blames Casino “Errors”

  • Businessman blames AU$43m (£23m; $30m) spent gambling on casino "errors"
  • The Star Gold Coast is confident it will reclaim the money
  • Star Entertainment Group is suing businessman in the High Court of Singapore
Singapore skyline
A Singapore businessman is being sued by an Australian casino for AU$43 million.

Five days of gambling

A Singaporean businessman is being sued for AU$43m (£23m; $30m) for allegedly canceling a blank check after his departure from an Australian casino.

Dr. Wong Yew Choy jetted into the Gold Coast last July and spent five days playing baccarat, a casino card game, according to a report from The Gold Coast Bulletin. He lost about AU$8.6m (£4.6m; $6.08m) each day. Before Choy left to fly back to Singapore, he’s believed to have handed over a blank check to the establishment, allowing the casino to fill in the amount he owed.

However, it is alleged that, when Choy returned home, he instructed his bank to stop the blank check, claiming a series of “errors” at the casino. In a bid to reclaim the money, Star Entertainment Group, the Australian gaming and entertainment group that is behind The Star Gold Coast, is suing the businessman in the High Court of Singapore.

Star first lodged its complaint against Choy in February. A spokesperson for the casino is reported to have said: “The Star is disappointed the situation involving Wong Yew Choy has forced us to escalate the matter to the Singapore High Court. However, we are pursuing the debt vigorously. We would not be wasting the court’s time unless we felt our position was extremely robust.”

For some, it may be surprising that the casino let Choy lose so much at the card game in the first place. After all, wouldn’t there be procedures in place to stop the casino from giving so much credit out, to begin with? Maybe the casino catered to Choy and let him leave, knowing that he was good for the money.

Money and gambling

Early in March, it was reported that a man from California was ordered to pay back more than $90,000 (£68,500) to New Jersey gambling regulators for gambling from outside the state.

Because the man was quick to comply with regulators, he was allowed to keep $2,500 (£1,900) of the nearly $93,000 (£71,000).

It seems unlikely, though, that the businessman from Singapore will see such an outcome, with the Australian casino intent on getting that money back. Unfortunately, when it comes to money and gambling it seems people will go to drastic lengths to fuel their gambling habits.

For instance, in January, a care worker was reported to have stolen nearly £8,000 ($10,400) from an 87-year-old woman’s bank account over a 10-month period to gamble with. Elsewhere, a British accountant was reported as being jailed for five years, at the beginning of January, after stealing more than £400,000 ($503,000) from her employers over a seven-year period and spending it on gambling.

It remains to be seen what the outcome of the court case will be, but it may be that the casino takes different steps in future to ensure the people who gamble with it can, in fact, pay up when the time comes.