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Hamilton Casino cheats penalised

MEDIA RELEASE 27 August 2013

Hamilton Casino cheats penalised

Two people found guilty of cheating Hamilton’s SkyCity Casino were today sentenced in the Hamilton District Court.

Zhou ZHAO, 32, a New Zealand resident, received five months’ home detention and ordered to pay reparation of $13,000. Xiao Dong LU, 28, a non-resident, was ordered to pay $4000 reparation and undertake 350 hours’ community work. Judge Philip Connell recognised she would be deported before serving her sentence. Each was found guilty in May on charges of deception stemming from the pair working in collusion with a rapid roulette table game dealer to defraud the casino of $52,000.

Lu approached Hamilton City Casino dealer Bo Du in 2011 and reached an agreement that Du would influence the game when she or her partner, Zhao, appeared in the casino. Du had allowed her two accomplices to place bets after the roulette ball had dropped into the winning number slot and 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.

The Department of Internal Affairs was called in after the casino discovered irregularities with the rapid roulette game.

Alison Barrett, Acting Director Gambling Compliance says the Department is pleased the deception was picked up.

“We work with casinos to ensure that they have systems and processes in place to identify, address, deter and prevent criminal activity in casinos.

“Members of the public are entitled to expect that all casino gambling is operated responsibly and with the highest integrity.

"These convictions show that if you try and cheat in a casino in New Zealand you will be caught." Ms Barrett said.

The dealer, Bo Du, 33, was sentenced in January 2013 to nine months’ home detention and reparation of $20,000.

ENDS

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