Kamloops student from China faces judge for cheating Kelowna casino - InfoNews

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Kamloops student from China faces judge for cheating Kelowna casino

March 13, 2018 - 12:27 PM

KELOWNA – A judge ordered a Thomson Rivers University student to pay back all the money he cheated from a Kelowna casino in late 2016, but said the humiliation he suffered during his arrest was punishment enough.

Mingzhe Xu, 25, was put in handcuffs in front of his classmates after security camera’s at Kelowna’s Lake City Casino caught him adding chips to the roulette table after bets were closed on Oct. 23, 2016 and again on Oct. 28. Two days later he also added chips to a winning bet he placed in a game of three-card poker.

With the help of the dealer, who is also charged, Xu, originally from China, was able to get more than $1,500 over the two days. Days later police handcuffed and arrested him in a classroom at the Kamloops university where he is enrolled as an economics student on a student visa.

He and his co-accused, Yun Long Yang, a 22-year-old Kelowna man, were charged with cheating a casino but released from custody.

Xu’s lawyer Brad Smith called the crime “unsophisticated” and caused by stress.

Xu apologized to the casino in a letter, saying he had been the victim of a phone scam, was in a car accident and had just learned that his mother has cancer.

“I know this is not an excuse,” he wrote. “I request you kindly overlook my behaviour. I will not repeat such inappropriate behaviour in the future.”

Xu pleaded guilty to one count of cheat at play and Provincial Court judge Meg Shaw agreed with crown that the humiliation of being arrested in front of his teachers and classmates was a fitting punishment.

He was ordered to repay $1,588 to the casino and a second charge of cheat at play was stayed.

His co-accused lost his gaming worker registration and both men will appear in court later this month to face a final charge of cheating a casino.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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