$16k fine for man who 'racked up' casino reward points

A driving instructor got a friend who worked at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) to reward him with membership points at its casino, even though he was not spending any money there.

It was a gamble that did not pay off for 57-year-old Yap Kah Hsiang, who was fined $16,000 yesterday in the first case here of "false rating" - when a casino member is dishonestly awarded points despite not patronising the casino.

Yap had made the request to Tan Guan Xi, who was then a dealer supervisor.

The 39-year-old repeatedly keyed Yap's details into the casino's system between September 2010 and May 2012, awarding him almost $7,700 worth of reward points in his account.

Yap used some $5,600 of this to redeem overnight stays at MBS, as well as products and services at the casino's affiliated stores, including cakes and restaurant meals.

He pleaded guilty to eight of 460 charges of computer misuse, and had the rest taken into consideration yesterday.

He received the same fine as Tan, who was sentenced on Dec 4 and sacked by MBS.

The court heard that the casino's reward points system can be accessed from each game table by either a dealer supervisor or pit manager.

Normally, patrons' cards are swiped in a reader so that their playing time and bets can be tracked.

Tan manually keyed in Yap's membership number - a method that should be used only when a card is faulty, or when the system is unable to detect it.

Defence counsel Shashi Nathan told the court that Yap works at Bukit Batok Driving Centre, and had been a regular visitor to the casino at MBS since 2010.

He added that Yap does not intend to visit the casino again.

Yap has made full restitution. He could have been jailed for up to three years and fined up to $10,000 for each of the charges against him.


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