A Malaysian man has pleaded guilty to illegally recording cards during games at the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) casino.
He had reportedly conspired with other members of a criminal syndicate, and together they won S$433,730 over merely eight days.
As one of the accomplices, the man secretly told the playing member how to place bets at the casino after inputting the numbers into a spreadsheet formula.
He will be due for sentencing in November.
According to The Straits Times (ST), the 35-year-old Malaysian accomplice Tan Kian Yi pleaded guilty to four charges under the Casino Control Act on Tuesday (3 Oct).
He was part of a syndicate that operated in Singapore between 16 to 23 Dec 2022. Together, they made a total of S$433,730 in winnings from the MBS casino.
The group’s modus operandi involved a syndicate member, who went by the “sorcerer”, at the casino table.
This member would wear a hidden Bluetooth earphone while playing, and relay the information on the dealt cards to an accomplice, or “marksman” elsewhere.
As a “marksman”, Tan would then input the information from the “sorcerer” into an Excel spreadsheet formula. Then, after getting the results, he would tell the playing member how to place their bets.
It is currently unclear how the spreadsheet formula works.
Other alleged members of the syndicate include 27-year-old Taiwanese Hung Jung-Hao and 46-year-old Chai Hee Keong.
A Singapore district court had charged them earlier in 2023, but their cases are still pending.
Three more Taiwanese were reportedly part of this scheme as well. They are:
However, court documents did not disclose the results of these three cases.
Tan had reportedly met Hung Yu-Wen at a Philippine casino in August 2022. There, the latter introduced him to Wang. She allegedly also asked Tan if he wanted to win cash playing baccarat.
The trio then met at MBS in October 2022. They stayed at the hotel and visited the casino to observe people playing the card game.
Apparently, Hung Yu-Wen subsequently told Tan that she had a “formula” that could help them win the game.
According to the prosecution, the person who came up with the formula, which is on an Excel spreadsheet, goes only by Kelvin.
She then taught Tan how to use the formula, and he memorised codes that represented the different values of the card game.
They soon recruited Hung Jung-Hao and Chou to their operations. Each member then reportedly took rotated roles in committing the offences at the MBS casino.
The syndicate’s plans fell through after a casino staff member caught on to their behaviour via surveillance footage.
Police arrested Hung Jung-Hao when he was gambling at the casino by himself on 24 Dec 2022. They then found casino chips worth over S$790,000 from the rooms of the syndicate members.
The other members left Singapore the day after, as they suspected he had been caught after he became uncontactable.
In February this year, authorities arrested Tan in Kuala Lumpur and brought him back to Singapore.
The defence said in court documents there is no proof that the formula involved fraud or cheating.
Tan has yet to make any restitution, and is due for sentencing next month.
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Featured image adapted from Marina Bay Sands.
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