Star Casino investigation found high roller spent $11m on Chinese debit card in one day

An investigation has heard that a high roller spent $11million on a Chinese debit card in one day at the Star Casino in Sydney.

The investigation concerns Star Entertainment’s ability to operate its casino in Pyrmont.

He has previously heard that cards issued by China UnionPay bank were only allowed to be used for non-gaming expenses, under an agreement with the bank.

Star employees have previously admitted to misleading National Australia Bank (NAB) when it asked on behalf of China UnionPay for assurances that the cards were not used for gambling, stating that they were used for “entertainment” or “hosting services”, and omitting games. expenses.

Today, high roller property developer Philip Dong Fang Lee told the inquest he would spend millions a day at the casino.

“Is it correct that on April 6, 2015, you charged your China UnionPay card $11 million to purchase chips or pay off casino debt at The Star Casino?” asked assistant attorney Naomi Sharp SC.

“Correct,” replied Mr. Lee, through a translator.

The investigation was the subject of a series of receipts, with Mr Lee showing several transactions of nearly $1 million.

“Is it true that on at least one occasion at Star, you repeatedly swiped your China UnionPay cards close to each other, debiting $900,000 at once?” Mrs. Sharp asked.

“Correct,” said Mr. Lee.

Mr Lee denied staying at the casino hotel for a month in 2015.(AAP: Marianna Massey)

The inquest heard that Mr Lee, of Chinese descent, is an Australian citizen and has lived in New South Wales for more than two decades.

He said he had never stayed at The Star Sydney hotel, formerly called The Astral, but said he may have received accommodation vouchers which he passed on to friends.

Ms. Sharp submitted a Star Statement for a stay on the Astral for almost a month in 2015.

“Did you stay at the Astral Tower and residences for 27 days in 2015?” Mrs. Sharp asked.

“No, I didn’t,” he said.

“My friends may have stayed in this business suite, but not me.”

Mr Lee said he was initially told there was no limit to the money he could spend on China UnionPay cards, and he was never warned too much in withdraw, although a limit was then placed on the map.

He was also presented with a statement in English which he had signed, stating that his cash check limit had been increased from $12.3 million to $23.3 million.

This statement was dated the same day as his $11 million expenditure.

“Have you ever had a Star Casino credit limit of $12.3 million?” Mrs. Sharp asked.

“No, I’m sorry I don’t,” Mr. Lee replied.

“Did you ever ask in April 2015 to increase your credit limit to $23.3 million? she asked.

“No,” he said.

Mr Lee told the inquest earlier that he could not speak or read English.

He said he had a relationship manager at Star who spoke to him in Mandarin, who occasionally accompanied him to NAB or Commonwealth Bank to help him translate.

He said a Star staff member also suggested he open a bank account in Singapore.

“The explanation for me was that they would need an overseas check to be placed in their place. [to obtain credit] and [I had] a one-month period to repay the money,” Mr Lee said.

“It would be a blank check and I was asked to sign the blank check and hand it over [back] them and they would take care of the rest of the procedure.

“So it would be nice for me to get an amount of about $5 million and with that amount of money I could play in the casino and if I lost I could pay it back.”

The investigation is continuing.

About Kristina McManus

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