Legal

Australia’s Star Gold Coast Casino Suing Singapore VIP Gambler Over $30M Debt

The Star Gold Coast casino resort in Queensland, Australia, is suing a gambler from Singapore that it claims owes a nearly $31 million debt.

Australia’s Star Gold Coast casino says this man – Dr. Wong Yew Choi – skipped town and fled back to his native Singapore after racking up a $30 million gambling debt. (Image: News Mail)

The Stars Entertainment Group, which owns and operates Star Gold Coast, The Star Sydney, and Treasury Casino in Brisbane, says Singapore national Dr. Wong Yew Choi arrived at its Queensland casino in late July of 2018.

A well-known high roller in Asia, The Star flew him to its property on its private jet, handed him a welcome AUD$200,000 ($140,000 USD) in gaming chips, and accepted a check from the VIP in exchange for an initial line of credit totaling AUD$40 million ($28 million USD).

Between July 26 and August 1, the casino says he gambled it all away on baccarat tables. His final debt, Star alleges, totaled AUD$43.2 million ($30.9 million USD).

In July of this year, the Supreme Court of Singapore dismissed Star’s lawsuit against Wong seeking the recovery of his gambling debts. The court cited Section 5(2) of the Singapore Civil Law Act, which prohibits the government to assist foreign companies seeking the recovery of debts related to overseas gambling.

Star Entertainment isn’t folding, however, now taking its legal fight to its home court system.

Casino Errors

Attorneys for Wong claim the baccarat dealers made unspecified “mistakes” during his time at the tables. He claims he was invited to Star Gold Coast by a marketing executive with the casino, but became furious with dealer mistakes and informed the VIP room managers he was done.

In court filings, Wong says casino staff persuaded him to continue playing and was assured that he would not be liable for further gambling debts caused by the dealer mishaps. Wong claims he was seduced by VIP marketing exec Teazel Yaw to keep gambling.

The Star denies those accusations and says it’s Wong’s way of trying to get out of paying his liabilities.

Man of Mystery

Little is known surrounding Dr. Wong Yew Choi and how he amassed such wealth that a casino would be willing to lend him tens of millions of dollars.

What Casino.org was able to find on Wong is that he resigned as a director of Celton Manx, an online gaming and software firm based in the Isle of Man, in March of 2019. The company is said to be the first interactive gaming firm to be licensed to operate internet table games with live dealers in the self-governing British sovereign state.

SBOBET, another company linked to Wong, is an online bookmaker licensed in the Philippines to take bets from people throughout Asia.

There have also been unfounded claims linking Wong to Paul Phua, a Malaysian high-stakes poker player, and bookie who has been an alleged member of the 14K triad based in Hong Kong.

Devin O'Connor

Gaming Legislation, Politics, Casino Business, Entertainment----Devin O’Connor’s passion for politics and background in the world of pop culture television give him insight into the gaming industry backstories that often drive news these days. After graduating from Penn State University with a theater arts degree, he worked at MTV Networks/Viacom from 2005 to 2010 as a writer and producer, where his credits included Total Request Live, New Year's Eve specials, and a special featuring poker superstar Daniel Negreanu. He later moved on to the HGTV/DIY Network, where he created, wrote, and produced three series specials: That's So House Hunters, That's So 80s, and That's So 90s. Devin came on board with Casino.org in 2014. He lives in Pennsylvania, and is an avid marathoner, having completed 15 races to date. Email: devin.oconnor@casino.org

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Devin O'Connor