A Queensland casino is suing a Singaporean businessman who allegedly owes over $43 million in lost baccarat games. The Star Gold Coast Casino is taking Yong Yew to Singapore’s High Court after he incurred debts and gave them cheques that subsequently bounced.
Dr Wong, described by his lawyers as "a highly valued and respected patron of casinos around the world", issued two cheques to the casino for the sum of $50 million, and he was then issued with purchase vouchers which he used to buy gaming chips.
In September last year, he incurred debt of $43.2 million at the baccarat tables. Although he issued a replacement cheque for $45 million, it bounced, and the casino was unable to recover its losses. The casino demanded payment but by December, when the money wasn’t forthcoming, The Star Gold Coast Casino decided to sue, with interest.
Regular Concessionary Rebates
In defense of Dr. Wong, his lawyers wrote that he was considered a highly valued patron who is well received at casinos around the world, and not just in Australia.
According to Wong, he had received special rebates and incentives from the casino, including the use of a private jet and free casino cash to be used for gambling.
Wong referred to an incident that occurred at the casino last year, when a dealer accidentally exposed a hand dealt to him, instead of allowing Wong to turn over the card himself during a game of baccarat. He claimed that, due to the mistake, the casino had agreed to forgive any losses incurred for a certain time period. The casino’s COO also agreed that if a mistake happened again, Wong would not be liable for any future losses.
Wong claimed that another mistake was made by the dealer and at this point, he instructed his bank to stop the cheques.
Justifiable Law Suit
The Star said in a statement that it felt that its pursual of the debt was justified. Although the casino said that it was "disappointed" that it had been forced to turn to Singapore’s High Court, it was still "pursuing the debt vigorously."
"We would not be wasting the court’s time unless we felt our position was extremely robust,"" said a spokesman for the casino.