View interactive

Casino scammer to be deported after avoiding jail

Xiao Dong Lu, 28 was sentenced today on charges related to a casino scam. Photo / Christine Cornege
Xiao Dong Lu, 28 was sentenced today on charges related to a casino scam. Photo / Christine Cornege

A Chinese woman involved in a gambling scam with her former boyfriend and a rapid roulette dealer to cheat Hamilton's SkyCity Casino of more than $50,000 has escaped a jail sentence but will be deported.

Xiao Dong Lu, 28 appeared at the Hamilton District Court today having earlier been found guilty on three charges of deception.

Her former boyfriend Zhou Zhao, 32, was also found guilty of the same charges that related to the pair colluding with a rapid roulette table game dealer at the casino between July 2011 and April 2012.

Lu was described as "naive" in her offending by Judge Philip Connell who sentenced her to 350 hours of community work after she paid reparations of $4000 - which was well short of the $13,000 sought by the Crown.

But with no family living in New Zealand, no financial means and no other means of support, Judge Connell said deportation was a "more pragmatic" solution.

Zhao was sentenced to five months home detention after paying the full reparation amount of $13,000.

The court heard how the casino became suspicious after analysing the pair's loyalty cards which showed both were winning "well beyond the game of chance".

"The wins were far too frequent," said Judge Connell.

"It was far too much money and it was that which set the Sky City staff on the course investigating."

The dealer and mastermind of the scam, Bo Du, 33, was sentenced in January to nine months home detention and ordered to pay reparation of $26,000, after she allowed the pair to place bets after the roulette ball had dropped into the winning number slot.

Du circumvented the electronic cut-off for final bets by deliberately releasing the ball early - removing the element of chance and causing the casino to incur substantial losses.

Lu approached Du, a dealer at the casino for six years, in 2011 and agreed that when she or her former partner, Zhao, appeared in the casino Du would influence the game.
The Department of Internal Affairs was called in after the casino discovered irregularities with the rapid roulette game.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n1 at 22 Sep 2014 09:47:13 Processing Time: 829ms