Posted on: January 9, 2024, 04:39h.
Last updated on: January 9, 2024, 04:50h.
A baccarat dealer at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun casino resort is accused of stacking the deck to benefit a gambler with whom he was allegedly in cahoots, The Day reports. Investigators claim the pair swindled the casino out of $124K.
The dealer, Yu Wen Fu, 64, has been charged with two counts of first-degree larceny, four counts of second-degree larceny, and one count of third-degree larceny in connection with the scheme. On Monday, he was arraigned in New London’s Part A court for serious crimes.
His accomplice, Haoen Jiang, has been banned from the casino but hasn’t been charged with any crime. It’s unclear if he will be.
Deal Won’t Wash
On the morning of April 21, 2023, an eagle-eyed pit boss spotted Fu handling the cards suspiciously. He alerted the casino’s security department, which began to watch Fu more closely through surveillance cameras.
They noticed that Fu would stack the deck before Jiang’s appearance at the table. Normally, baccarat dealers will “wash” the cards, before squaring them up and placing them in the automatic card shuffler before dealing them.
Washing is a randomization technique that involves a dealer spreading the deck face down and then sliding the cards around the table with their hands.
Instead of washing, the surveillance team noticed that Fu turned some of the cards over so he could see them and arranged them in a specific order. He would then surreptitiously hide them to one side before placing them on top of a legitimately shuffled deck.
The goal of baccarat is to bet on the hand with the highest value, which is 9. Tens and face cards count as zero, an ace counts as one, and all the other cards count as their face value.
Investigators determined that Fu would signal to Jiang when the 9 card was about to be dealt by placing it after a specific sequence of worthless face cards.
Winding back the surveillance video, investigators found that Jiang had won $3,600 while playing at Fu’s table a day prior, on April 20.
When they checked further back, they found several wins ranging from $8,850 to $29,835. These totaled $124,260 between March 29 and April 20, 2023.
Jiang was questioned by police in his hotel room at Mohegan Sun on April 21 where he denied the conspiracy, despite having Fu’s number on his cellphone. He was 86’d from the premises and banned for life.
Fu was suspended from his employment during the investigation. He was arrested and charged on November 19. If found guilty, he faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.