BUSINESS

16 individuals sentenced to prison for running fake VIP room

TAGs: court of first instance, crimes, gambling, Macau

hollywood-vip-entrance-sign-DECO304Here’s something you don’t see everyday. Macau’s Court of First Instance slammed the hammer on 16 individuals arrested last year over their involvement in running a fake VIP room scam in one of the luxury hotels in Cotai.

According to the Macau Post, the 16 individuals operated as part of a larger criminal syndicate who duped individuals, mostly high rollers from the mainland, in playing in one of their VIP rooms. The only caveat was that these rooms were far from VIP lounges; they were actually luxury hotel presidential and corporate suites that these individuals turned into apparently believable VIP rooms that completely fooled the players who were coming in to play.

At the time of the arrest a year ago, local authorities were able to seize betting chips amounting to MOP100 million (US$12.5 million), as well as numerous gambling and non-gambling paraphernalia, including collapsible baccarat gaming tables, gaming equipment and small amounts of drugs and sedatives.

Even more surprising was the local law enforcement’s suggestion that the group had been running the scam for close to two years, bamboozling a lot of players in the process. The sheer level of planning to set-up these suites was apparently top caliber too. In addition to completely turning these rooms into makeshift casino VIP lounges, the group also had numerous individuals posing as dealers, security guards, public relations managers, and players.

And that doesn’t even count the alleged drinks that were spiked with drugs, not to mention the use of fake shuffling to ensure that the players lost.

But as is the case with shams like this, it was only a matter of time before the individuals were exposed. And now that they’ve been busted, the 16 individuals sentenced by the Court of First Instance – one was a Macau resident whereas the other 15 were all from mainland China – are facing anywhere from 18 months to three years in prison, proving that bad deeds like running scams on unsuspecting casino players will always come back and bite you in the ass.

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