- Player copied winning ticket to double poker machine gains
- Judge “really surprised” simple scam got past casino staff
A Darwin gambler was able to take advantage of Skycity Casino and get paid twice for a winning poker machine ticket in a scam so simple it left the judge who charged him completely baffled.
Charles Francis Leong doubled his win on the pokies by producing his own duplicate ticket, enabling him to cash in twice on the win. Leong has been convicted of counterfeiting following the incident, and given a 2-year conditional release order.
Double ‘win’ by counterfeiter
NT News reports that Leong had been playing the slots at the Skycity Casino when he won an undisclosed amount. As is usual in Australian casinos, his winning amount was printed on a slip to be cashed in at the desk or cash-in terminal. Leong took this slip home, and made a photocopy. He then returned to SkyCity the following night with the copied slip, which was approved and cashed by a teller.
To double the win, Leong then sent his partner to the land-based casino with the authentic winning ticket, and they attempted to cash the slip at an automated machine – which rejected the duplicate payout.
However, an attendant at the cash desk made the payment without question. The scam worked in the short term – but ultimately failed when staff checked security cameras and discovered what had happened.
Judge lenient on ‘unsophisticated’ scam
Leong pleaded guilty and convicted of counterfeiting tokens, with a two-year good behavior bond in place of sentencing. He also faces court fees over this offense and a further charge of driving without insurance – discovered when investigators traced the player’s journeys to and from the casino resort.
While Leong’s partner is not facing any criminal charges, they may be liable for repaying Skycity’s losses.
A lawyer for Leong told how the player was in financial difficulties, having lost thousands when he was scammed himself. He was also in the grip of a gambling addiction as he attempted to improve his financial fortunes.
The judge also took into account how easy the scam was for Leong to pull off when he issued the relatively light sentence.
“I’m really surprised the casino is so vulnerable to such a simple criminal ruse as the one you’ve devised,” Judge Wallace told the court during the case.
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