$1 million casino scam: Baccarat Dealer serving a prison sentence
Published by Giselle
December 16, 2019 6:26 pm
A Baccarat dealer who worked at the MGM National Harbor Casino in Maryland, USA, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for fraud by the district court on Wednesday.
According to the prosecution, Ming Zhang (32) cheated the house by more than 1 million US dollars.
Judge Paul Grimm ordered a further three years of probation after serving his sentence. Also, Zhang is to reimburse the entire amount of 1,046,560 US dollars.
Baccarat: the game of high rollers
Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games among Asian high rollers and is very popular in Macau. Baccarat is quite easy to learn. A player plays against the bank. The other players at the table can bet on the bank or the player. The game is played with six decks of cards.
According to some historians, the game was first played in Naples in the 16th century. Other scientists see the beginnings of the game in France.
The origin, however, is said to lie in an Etruscan ritual. A cube is said to have decided the fate of the virgins. If an eight or nine was thrown, the girl was allowed to become a priestess.
The six or the seven prohibited the participation in all religious events. With all values under five, the girl had to drown herself in a lake.
The accusations against the Baccarat Dealer
The casino incident occurred in September 2017, and Zhang’s role in the Baccarat scam reportedly included informing his accomplices when he would be dealing at the Baccarat tables.
Zhang is reported to have shown the cards before the cards were dealt. The accomplices photographed these before Zhang put the deck of cards unmixed into his shoe. Subsequently, high stakes were placed.
Knowledge of the order in which the cards were in the deck made it possible to predict the results of the rounds accurately, but this meant considerable losses for the casino.
The office of the public prosecutor’s office comments:
“If a player knows the order in which the cards appear in the deck, he can predict the outcome of a particular Baccarat hand with almost perfect accuracy and place his bets accordingly.”
However, this is not the only incident. Zhang is said to have been present in at least one other casino between July and September 2017, when a suspected accomplice carried out the same fraud scheme. The dealer is said to have received 1,000 US dollars for his work.
However, Zhang is said to have been exposed when he tried to negotiate an amount of money for his services with a supposed new client. Zhang had been instructed to wait for a call, but it never came. Instead, the investigators visited him the following day.
Whether the accomplices were also caught and whether a part of the money won by the fraud was refunded to the casino, is not known at present yet.