The double Olympic gold medallist in dispute with casino over unpaid $325,000 gambling debt

  • Sportsman Kong Linghui is being sued over alleged gambling debt
  • Table tennis professional claimed to owe thousands to Singapore casino

The table tennis pro affectionately dubbed China’s ‘Ping Pong Prince’ is facing a legal challenge from the Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore, which claims Kong Linghui owes close to half a million Singapore dollars ($325,000) for a previous gambling debt.

Marina Bay Sands casino is in dispute with Kong Linghui over alleged unpaid gambling debt.
Marina Bay Sands casino is in dispute with Kong Linghui over alleged unpaid gambling debt.

The casino has filed a lawsuit with the Singapore courts, and the double Olympic gold medallist will face charges in China relating to the alleged debts.

Marina Bay Sands files lawsuit over debt

The Marina Bay Sands alleges that the former table tennis pro, 41, is liable for a debt of 454,375 Singapore dollars (around $327,600). The casino states that a credit note for S $1 million was issued to Mr Kong in good faith, but they have only received close to half of that amount in repayments.

However, the table tennis champion claims that he does not have a debt with the establishment, instead pointing the finger at associates. Mr Kong claims he visited the Marina Sands casino with family and friends, but he does not accept the debt at this time. The Olympic ace has returned to his native China to answer the charges.

Who is Kong Linghui?

Kong Linghui is one of China’s most respected sportsmen. He entered the world of professional table tennis in the early 1990s, and has represented China at the Olympics, the World Championships and the World Cup – winning all three major events multiple times. He has now retired from professional sport, but serves as the Head Coach for the Chinese National Women’s Team.

The team is currently competing at the World Table Tennis Championships, which finish on June 5, and Mr Kong was with competitors in Germany when news of the lawsuit broke.

Kong has been suspended from his role while the investigation is ongoing, and has been sent from the championships back to China in order to answer questions about the case.

“As we are in the middle of the World Table Tennis Championships, this incident has caused negative effect on the team, which I feel deeply disturbed [about],” said Kong Linghui to reporters.

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