Where Did This Chinese High Roller’s Missing Millions Go?

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A wealthy Chinese gambler, Linong Ma, has sued SkyCity, an Aussie casino and two Chinese-based junket operators. He claims that $3.75 million in casino winnings were stolen from him. You won’t have to worry about being scammed when gambling with online Casino Cookie. They always pay out their winnings and secure their players’ accounts.

Multi-millionaire Ma, who splits his time between Hong Kong and Shanxi, says one of the junketers who stole his money, Xiongming Xie, is involved with the Triads. The legal proceedings claim Xie and his business partner Zhuangqian Fang defrauded Ma and SkyCity acted negligently by working with the shady junket.

In June 2019, he arrived in Adelaide, Australia, to bet big. The trip was organized by a licensed Chinese junket but was actually being coordinated by Sydney-based Xie, who was using his friend’s junket company.

Whether or not Ma knew who was really organizing the trip is a point of contention. It is likely Ma would not have agreed to do business if he knew Xie’s true nature who is banned from all casinos in Australia over unpaid gambling obligations, totalling seven figures.

How Did The Money Go Missing?

The way Chinese high rollers gamble is they transfer money to junket companies based in China before leaving for their trip. Once they arrive, the casino extends them a line of credit in the form of “rolling chips.” This is to bypass China’s money control systems.

Casinos work with these junket companies to lure high rollers to their properties and typically pay them a commission based on how much the wealthy gamblers lose. Junkets can earn millions if their clients lose big. Once the Chinese gamblers return home, it is the Junkets’ responsibility to settle the account with the gambler.

At SkyCity, Ma initially started playing baccarat with $310,000 before quickly losing $286,000. He came returned the following evening and reloaded $460,000, and went on a crazy winning streak, ending up with $3,900,000.

The problems started when Ma wanted to turn his chips into dollars. Xie’s associates started arguing with Ma and convinced him to cash the chips the following week.

Ma put his newly won chips in a casino safety deposit box which he was informed was secure. Ma then left the country for family reasons and planned to pick up the money in a few months when he returned to Australia for business dealings. 

However, on his return, Ma realized that the deposit box had been largely emptied with only a few hundred thousand dollars remaining. SkyCity casino claims they paid Xie as Ma’s supposed junket, who told them he would send the money to Ma once he arrived back in China. Apparently, Xie had other plans and had no intention of paying Ma. Instead, he pocketed the $3.8 million for himself.

Ma faces an uphill battle trying to collect debts from Xie, who is apparently an international criminal with deep links to Triads and organized crime groups both in China and Australia. In 2019 Xie was accused of putting a knife to a man’s throat in an attempt to have an almost 8 figure property transferred to him.

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