Sydney's Star Casino Loses $7M Cheque Belonging to Macau GamblerFebruary 22, 2018 12:42 pm
Star Entertainment recently released its financial result for the six month period up to December 31st revealing a massive 76.8% drop in profits to $32.9 million. Amongst the factors accounting for the company’s troubling figures was an unusually low house win rate against its international VIP gamblers, but it seems that other concerns that the casino company now has to guard against includes not losing those cheques handed over by its high rolling patrons.
Sydney’s Star casino, for instance, is currently in the midst of a legal battle to reclaim $7 million from Macau-based gambler Wai Chong Wong, who provided the casino with a $5 million and a $2 million holding cheques in October 2016 in order that he could obtain $7 million in chips from the casino. After losing the money, however, an employee of the casino later confessed that he may have accidentally shredded the cheques after believing that Mr Wong had paid for his losses. In August 2017, Star Casino subsequently sent two notices to Mr Wong’s residence in Macau asking for replacement cheques to be provided within 14 days, but ultimately received no response from the millionaire.
The unusual situation stems from Australia’s Casino Control Act of 1992 which prevents casinos from directly extending lines of credit to their patrons. Instead, the Star Casino keeps its VIP cheques in separate customer’s file until their account are eventually settled, with a losing gambler then writing a personal cheque to cover any losses, after which his original cheque is shredded or alternatively returned to the customer. When a patron is not present for the settlement process, their original cheque is then kept in a safe deposit box until any outstanding sum is paid, which in Mr Wong’s case came to $6,139,534.
Without a resolution, Star casino has since taken Wai Chong Wong to court, with the New South Wales Supreme Court having now ordered him to write replacement cheques to the casino totaling $7 million within 14 days.
This is not the first time that the Star Casino has experienced difficulties stemming from customers not honoring their debts. In 2012, the Australian Supreme Court ordered a group of gamblers from Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia to repay $23 million in bounced cheques to the venue, with Thailand’s Nattachai Srirungsukpinij having owed $5.5 million to the casino alone.