Baccarat dealer pleads guilty to helping players cheat casino out of $1m+

A baccarat dealer has pleaded guilty to conspiring to helping players cheat a Maryland casino out of more than $1 million, the Associated Press reported.

In September 2017, Ming Zhang was reported to have lifted the deck to expose part of an unshuffled baccarat deck, while a player at the table photographed the cards. This helped give the players information to place big bets at favourable times, a court filing reported.

Assistant US Attorney Erin Pulice said that the players knowing the order of cards allowed bettors to predict the outcome of hands in baccarat “with near-perfect accuracy”. It is reported that this plot cost the Maryland casino $1,046,560.

Zhang received a cut of the players’ profits for his role in the conspiracy, and now faces up to five years in prison. Although the name of the casino in question has not been named in court documents or mentioned at Tuesday’s hearing in Greenbelt, an MGM National Harbor spokesperson confirmed Zhang’s former employment at the D.C. area casino:

“Ming Zhang is no longer employed by MGM National Harbor. We have provided our full cooperation with authorities throughout this investigation,” said casino spokesman Malik Husser.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency spokeswoman Carole Gentry also said on Tuesday that Zhang’s gaming license is in the process of being revoked by the state regulatory agency.

Ming Zhang’s fate awaits him on 31 January 2019 when he is scheduled to be sentenced by US District Judge Paul Grimm.