Choy does not dispute he lost the money, but he does say that he lost the money only because the baccarat dealer on the game where he lost it made mistakes.
This story immediately reminded me of a current big-time baccarat scam out there. I do not know if Mr. Choy is using the same scam to try to defraud the Star Casino, but I do know a scam that several groups of high-limit baccarat players use to defraud casinos all over the world.
The "Asian" baccarat scam is not limited to Asian baccarat players, but I've been told it may have originated in Asia, and I know it is carried out all over the world, from major gambling capitals to US Tribal casinos.
Here's how it works:
These players always play in groups, and they are not hardcore cheats, but they will take huge shots at you if you give them the chance.
They play normally without cheating. They wait patiently for a dealer to make a mistake on the third-card rule, which does not happen often, but it does happen. For those of you Table Games people who have dealt or supervised baccarat, you know that the most common dealer error on the third-card rule is when the Bank hand is 3 and the Player hand hits a third-card 8. The Player hitting an 8 against the Bank 3 is the only time the Bank will stand after the Player takes a third card.
I myself, a former baccarat dealer, remember that I made more mistakes in that hand-situation than any other.
So...back to the baccarat group waiting for that mistake...It indeed comes but guess what?...they don't say a word, even if that third-card-draw error cost them money.
Instead, on the next hand, and with a sudden fury like a tidal wave, the entire group bets the maximum on either Player or Banker, all of them betting on the same side. They will hurriedly sign markers to get more chips if they don't have enough in front of them to make the maximum bet.
That next hand is dealt. If they win, great!
If they lose?
What do you think happens? Do you know?
Of course you know!
They claim the mistake the dealer had made on the previous hand. The Table Games supervisor asks them why they didn't claim the mistake when it happened. The group replies that they just realized it!
Sure! (sarcastic). If there's one thing I can tell you it's that these baccarat players know the third-card rule as well as any Table Games person who's been dealing and watching the game for 30 years!
So surveillance is called and the previous hand is reviewed, and sure enough the dealer mistakenly hit that banker hand of 3 after the player drew an eight. The floor supervisor immediately stops the game and instructs the dealer to rectify the amounts paid and taken on the previous hand in accordance with the surveillance review.
But wait one second! Do you think for another second that this high-rolling baccarat group is going to be satisfied with that?
Of course not!
So the lead player (these groups almost always have a lead player whose bets the others follow) declares that the mistake on the previous hand led to their losing this current hand, and therefore they want their lost money back.
Even if going back through the played cards shows that they still would have lost the big hand anyway, the group leader will claim that the whole karma of the shoe went bad because of the mistake, and that in their culture this is the same as the order of the cards being changed for the worse.
Of course the supervisor, and by now the shift manager who surely had arrived at the table, won't have any of this nonsense, but then the group throws them the malicious curveball.
The leader says, "If you don't give us the money back for that bad-karma hand, we will take our action elsewhere and never come back here again!
Any Table Games executive's first thought might be to say to the group, "Go ahead and take your action somewhere else."
But on second thought, that executive may think, "Wait a minute! This group of big-time baccarat players is good for $ 2 million a year in losses." Then he or she looks at the table and sees 9 maximum bets of $10,000 each. So it's $90,000 the group wants returned to them.
So what does the casino do? The group's threat may be real, depending upon where this actually happens. If it happens in Macau or Las Vegas, where they can play high-stakes baccarat in dozens of different casinos, sure as hell they can get up all pissed-off and you never see them again.
But if you happen to be the only high-stakes baccarat casino within a few light years, you can call their bluff.
I have witnessed this ugly scam firsthand one time. I will not name the casino, but they sure as shit refunded the money.
So, how do you protect yourself from this? The first thing is reduce your dealers' third-card-rule mistakes as much as humanly possible.
How do you do that? You make sure that your best baccarat dealers are on the games and that the ones learning break into these games slowly, by dealing significant periods of time on slower, lower action games.
Beware of this scam!