Casino cheat caught in game of chance

Casino cheat caught in game of chance

SINGAPORE - During three visits to the Marina Bay Sands casino last month, Islam Rafiqul came up with a scheme to ensure a lucky streak at the tables - by placing his bets only after the winning combination was announced.

The 38-year-old Bangladeshi, who was sentenced to seven weeks in jail yesterday, used this method to trick croupiers into paying him a total of $750 worth of chips in "Sic-Bo" - a game of chance that is played with three dice.

On three occasions, also in games of Sic-Bo, he fraudulently got the casino to pay him $145 in chips for winning bets he had not placed.

He would do this by raising his hand when dealers announced the results and called for patrons to step forward and claim their winnings.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of cheating. Four other cheating charges and one of dishonest misappropriation were taken into consideration.

Pleading for leniency yesterday, Islam said he was the sole breadwinner in a poor family.

The man, who did not have a lawyer, added that he had a very elderly father, a disabled wife and three children to support.

The maximum penalty for cheating while gambling is a jail term of seven years and a $150,000 fine.

This article was published on May 8 in The Straits Times.

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