The Venetian Macao

Winnings withheld

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 February, 2008, 12:00am

Macau's gaming bureau last night ruled that a woman who won HK$1 million at a Macau resort was not entitled to the prize because she was related to an employee.

But the 24-year-old Macau woman, surnamed Tang, said the ruling was unfair and vowed to take her case to the courts to claim her prize from the Venetian Macao casino.

Ms Tang had won HK$1,056,500 while playing on a slot machine with a promotional membership card on Monday. However, she was unable to collect the prize as staff and their immediate family were not eligible to join the promotional programme.

The Venetian Macao defended the rule, saying it protected 'the integrity of a betting programme'.

The Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau said Ms Tang did not qualify as a participant in the betting programme as her brother was a customer services manager at the resort.

The bureau ruled that her complaint did not stand.

Ms Tang complained that she had not been informed that she could not join the promotional programme and no one told her she would not be awarded prizes from slot machines.

She said she had no problems claiming smaller wins on the slot machines but was denied the big prize.

In February last year, a 16-year-old Hong Kong girl hit the jackpot at the Sands Macao casino after entering the casino illegally. The gaming inspection bureau censured the casino for letting in an underage person but ordered it to pay out HK$740,000 in winnings to the girl's mother.