A Singapore judge Thursday sentenced Ding Zhipeng to about 10 months in prison and fined the ex-Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) dealer S$12,000 (US $8,856) for the theft of some S$77,000 (US $56,826) worth of chips.
An ex-Resorts World Sentosa dealer was fined S$12,000 (US $8,856) and sentenced to prison for 10 months in connection with the theft of some S$77,000 (US $56,826) worth of chips. (Image: Todayonline)
The 28-year-old defendant, who was described by the Today newspaper in Singapore, as a Chinese national, pleaded guilty to criminal breach of trust; a violation of the Casino Control Act; and a violation of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, the news report said.
He had worked as a dealer at RWS from July 2017 to about the time of his arrest. The series of thefts took place starting in May or June 2018 and were uncovered by surveillance authorities in November of last year.
Police were notified by gaming venue officials and officers said they located 72 chips and S$3,000 (US $2,214) from Ding’s room. He also allegedly gave police two additional chips that were hidden inside his pants — and most of the money eventually was located by authorities.
The chips were in denominations of a thousand Singapore dollars. They were kept in trays at the gaming tables where he worked as a dealer, police said.
After cashing the chips, the defendant allegedly used some of the money to purchase items — many of which were well-known brands — for a woman identified as his girlfriend and himself.
They were able to get a Breitling watch, a pair of Balenciaga shoes, and Chanel earrings, authorities claim. He also purchased an Apple iPad mini and an iPhone, officials add.
Police claim a friend of the defendant’s cashed the stolen chips. There was less suspicion on him that way, police explained.
But John Koh, an attorney representing Ding, claimed the defendant “resorted to improper channels to make extra money.” It went to assist his relatives who live in China, Koh further claimed in a court statement.
Macau Sees Chip Thefts Too
Globally, dealers are not the only ones stealing chips. Last month, in an unrelated theft two brazen masked men robbed close to $400,000 worth of gambling chips from a roulette table after apparently spraying a security guard and dealer with pepper spray while on the gaming floor of the Four Seasons Macau.
Singapore Gets Revenue from Two Casinos
Beyond Resorts World, Singapore has a second gaming venue — Marina Bay Sands. The two properties are important sources of funds for the nation’s government.
Gross gaming revenue at the two casinos totaled around $4.4 billion last year. Foreign guests are permitted to access the casino floors for free but local residents are required to pay entrance fees.
Singapore’s government received close to $1 billion in fees that must be paid by citizens and permanent residents before they can walk onto the gaming floor. In April, Singapore upped the daily casino entrance fee on citizens and residents from S$100 to S$150 ($73 to $110) while the flat annual entrance rate surged from $1,466 to $2,200.
Singapore has also extended the gaming licenses for Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa through 2030. In exchange, the companies will spend billions of dollars at the integrated casino complexes.
Las Vegas Sands will spend $3.3 billion to expand its Singapore resort with a new 1,000-suite luxury hotel tower and entertainment arena. Resorts World is incorporating two new theme parks and enlarging its aquarium — also at a cost of $3.3 billion.