Between July 26 and August 1, a businessman out of Singapore blew through AU$43.2 million ($30.6 million) at the Star Gold Coast Casino in Queensland, Australia. The businessman, Wong Yew Choy, had been catered by the casino, giving him the five-star treatment from the time it picked him up on its private jet to the time he returned to Singapore. The venue let Wong’s gambling ride, knowing he was good for it. However, by the time the weeklong trip was done, the money was gone and Choy is refusing to pay up.
Star Entertainment, which operates the casino, is going after Wong in a Singapore court over the debt, which is said to be the largest ever in the city-state. It argues that Wong had given the casino a blank check, which was to be filled in by Star Gold Coast. However, the check bounced when it was presented to the Singapore bank upon which the account was drawn.
Wong had been gambling away the week playing baccarat and argues that it isn’t his fault he lost. He says that the dealers made multiple mistakes, which were later confirmed by casino official in writing.
Impatient over the assumed incompetence of the dealers, Wong was ready to leave ahead of schedule. However, he was convinced to stay longer after several hosts offered to provide him more credit and a letter he received from the casino’s chief operating officer assured him that no more mistakes would be made. Upon agreeing to continue, he asserted that he wouldn’t pay for any losses if the errors continued.
The errors reportedly did continue, so Wong flew off back to Singapore and told his bank not to honor the check when it was presented. He argues that this was in accordance with the agreement he made with Star not to pay for any losses due to the dealers’ mistakes.
According to Wong’s lawyer, Abraham Vergis, “Dr. Wong will contest the Singapore case as a matter of principle and intends to fully vindicate his decision to stop payment,” adding that he is a “highly respected patron of casinos around the world, who is regularly provided with concessions and incentive packages.”