Casino fraudster to be deported
A Chinese woman at the centre of a betting racket at Hamilton's SkyCity Casino that netted more than $50,000 is to be deported.
Xiao Dong Lu, 28, and Zhou Zhao, 32, were found guilty in the Hamilton District Court in June on charges of deception which stemmed from the pair working in collusion with a rapid roulette table game dealer.
Lu, who was tearful throughout her appearance during sentencing today, was only able to stump up with $4,000 towards her share of the stolen loot, claiming she had no other money.
Given her inability to pay any further reparation, Judge Philip Connell sentenced Lu to 350 hours' community work, despite it being likely she will be deported before she can actually serve that sentence.
Zhao was sentenced to five months' home detention after repaying the full reparation of $13,000.
The dealer, Bo Du, 33, was sentenced in January to nine months' home detention and ordered to pay reparation of $20,000.
She allowed her two accomplices to place bets after the roulette ball had dropped into the winning number slot.
Du circumvented the electronic cut-off for final bets by deliberately releasing the ball early, removing the element of chance and causing the casino to incur substantial losses.
Lu approached Du, a dealer at the casino for six years, in 2011 and agreed that when she or her partner, Zhao, appeared in the casino Du would influence the game.
The Department of Internal Affairs was called in after the casino discovered irregularities with the rapid roulette game.
Internal Affairs' Casino compliance manager, Rob Abbott, said the department remained vigilant to the potential that gambling offered for illicit activities.
"These convictions show that if you try and cheat in a casino in New Zealand you will be caught," he said.
"The casinos and the department have the systems in place and the resources to detect and deal with cheating by casino patrons and staff."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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