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    Tuesday, July 23, 2024

    Mohegan Sun baccarat dealer charged with fixing games that cost casino $124,000

    A Mohegan Sun baccarat dealer is facing charges that he fixed card games, costing Mohegan Sun $124,000.

    Tribal police said Yu Wen Fu, 64, of 74 Briar Lane, Norwich, was working as a baccarat dealer on the morning of April 21, 2023, when a pit manager noticed Fu handling the cards suspiciously. The manager notified the casino’s surveillance department, whose cameras are ubiquitous on the gaming floor.

    Fu, police reports show, had “set up the deck” prior to a certain player coming to his table. Dealers in baccarat are supposed to “wash” the cards on the table prior to shuffling and dealing. Washing is a term used for the act of randomly moving the cards around on the table while they are still face down before the deck is shuffled and put back in a card shoe for dealing.

    On this morning, police said that instead of washing the cards, Fu turned over some of the cards so that he could see them, arranged them in a certain order and placed them aside before topping off a shuffled deck. When a 62-year-old player named Haoen Jiang sat at Fu’s table, police said Fu pretended to shuffle the deck and dealt Jiang the prearranged cards.

    Police said Jiang won an estimated $3,600 in the one payout on April 20. Police checked surveillance footage going back a month to find several more instances where Jiang and Fu were at the same table. Police said Jiang’s winning at previous games ranged from $8,850 to $29,835. Between March 29 and April 20, 2023, police said the total loss to the casino from the alleged cheating scheme was $124,260.

    In baccarat, players bet on whether or not the dealer or player’s hand will come closest to nine. Police said Fu would signal when the 9 card would come out by placing a set of face cards in the deck prior to the 9 card being dealt. Police said they were able to determine the amount of the winnings with video surveillance footage that tracked the number of chips paid out on each hand.

    On April 21, police questioned Jiang at his Mohegan Sun hotel room. Jiang denied he was acting in concert with Fu but did have Fu’s cellphone number on his phone. Jiang claimed he had last talked to Fu about some concert tickets. Jiang was permanently ejected from the casino and walked off the property, police said. He has not been charged.

    Fu also denied cheating and any relationship with Jiang. Fu told police that “sometimes cards will accidentally turn face up during the wash and he fixes them but he doesn’t turn them over and re-arrange cards for himself or anyone else,” police reports show.

    Fu was suspended pending further investigation. Fu was arrested on Nov. 15 and charged with two counts of first-degree larceny, four counts of second-degree larceny and one count of third-degree larceny. Free on a $25,000 bond, he was arraigned Monday in New London’s Part A court for serious crimes.

    g.smith@theday.com

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