South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reports that four Chinese tourists staged a protest at Jeju airport in May after a casino on the island refused to pay them baccarat winnings of KRW1.1 billion (US$1.09 million) because of suspicions that they cheated.
The four were said to have been customers at a casino hotel in the tourist resort of Seogwipo (pictured) said the newspaper, quoting local police. The visitors reportedly racked up the ‘winnings’ in little more than two hours of play at the baccarat tables.
But management at the casino – a venue not named by the police – suspected the Chinese tourists had colluded with casino staff, possibly by asking a dealer to use sleight of hand to swap cards coming out of the card shoe with ones hidden on the dealer’s person.
The incident – which allegedly occurred in May but has only just been reported – is now the subject of litigation between the players and the casino, said the newspaper.
Chinese tourists are important to South Korea’s casino industry. Paradise Group Ltd, one of the country’s biggest casino operators, with venues in Seoul, Incheon, Busan and Jeju, said in its first quarter earnings statement that its casino drop had increased by 30.1 percent year-on-year, largely thanks to the contribution of Chinese high-roller players.
Genting Singapore Ltd plans to break ground on a US$2-billion casino resort on Jeju Island in the third quarter, the firm said in late June.
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"The increased focus we can now bring to our gaming and amusement business [after a spin-off of the firm's cash-handling product business] will bring us closer to the customer as we align our offerings more directly with their needs"
Global president of casino equipment supplier SuzoHapp