Unemployment Benefit Claimant Spends $15m At SkyCity Casino

Unemployment Benefit Claimant Spends $15m At SkyCity CasinoIn 1993, Van Thanh Tran immigrated to New Zealand where he proceeded to claim unemployment benefit until 2012. In the meantime, the 48-year-old father of three also lead a double life as a drug lord and high-rolling gambler who spent more than $15 million whilst frequenting the Sky City Casino in Auckland.
Police managed to infiltrate Van Thanh Tran’s syndicate after an undercover officer posing as a drug dealer traced his influence all the way to the top of a pseudoephedrine ring, the product used to make methamphetamine. Tran and six other casino high-rollers were subsequently placed under surveillance by police, and the records show that he once lost $800,000 in a single week at the Sky City Casino, and $15 million over a 15-month period, with his volume of play totalling around $67 million.
In order to acquire such phenomenal wealth, “Elder Brother Ching”, as he was also called, would arrange for large shipments of pseudoephedrine to be smuggled from China into Auckland before manufacturing then distributing the narcotics. However, luck finally ran out for Tran following the success of Operation Ghost, with Tran now having pleaded guilty to importing and distributing drugs, including 250kg of pseudoephedrines during a single shipment. Tran has since had most of his assets seized by authorities, much of which were actually places in his family members names, including two homes, several cars, cash, bank accounts, and jewellery. Together with the other men involved in the criminal case, over $20 million in assets have thus far been retained under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act of 2009.
In the meantime, the Sky City Casino said it was satisfied it had adhered to money laundering laws, and that the millions gambled by Tran was not unusual for a VIP high-roller. As a casino spokesman explains:
“We were co-operative with the police from the start of this investigation. We are extremely confident that we took all appropriate actions under AML requirements and also that we took proactive steps from a host responsibility perspective. Only a few of the group of players identified by police were regular visitors to the casino, and the level of their play varied widely. In most cases their turnover was not out of the ordinary for local VIPs.”

Poker News
Japan Introduces Responsible Gambling Bill
28 May 2018
Japan’s bicameral legislature, known as The National Diet, consists of an upper House of Councillors and a lower House of Representatives, with the latter having started discussing the Integrated Resorts Implementation Bill last week. Being debated is the regulatory framework required in order to set up an efficient and well functioning casino market in the
Ohio Casino Revenue Up 1% to $71.8m in April
17 May 2018
The Ohio Casino Control Commission has released its gambling results for April, with the state’s four casinos collecting $71.8 million last month, up by almost 1% compared to the prior year. Meanwhile, the Buckeye State’s seven racinos fared considerably better, with their revenue rising by 8% to $89.7 million from their slots and video gaming
NJ Generates Record iGaming Revenues in February
15 May 2018
In April, New Jersey’s online gambling market saw its revenue rise by 10.6% to $23 million versus the same month in 2017, with the amount posted second only to the record $25.6 million collected in March 2018. As a result, the Garden State has now generated $92.5 million over the first four months of this
Virginia Poised For Historical Gambling Expansion
11 May 2018
Virginia is among the country’s more conservative states when it comes to gambling, and for many decades has resisted the allure and revenues that the industry might bring. In the 1990s, for instance, its legislature turned down a push for riverboat gambling, and the following decade Internet gambling cafes were outlawed. For the past five