This week, Metro Vancouver learned that a former employee of Grand Villa Casino Burnaby who was fired for stealing chips has received a reduced sentence. Kim Shing Leung was caught stealing from the casino’s gaming tables in an effort to help his cancer-ridden brother’s medical bills. The 58-year-old former casino employee will not be sent to prison, says court.
Last Wednesday, Mr. Leung pleaded guilty to one count of theft under CA$5,000 which transpired between January 1 and May 10, 2020, when he was fired by the casino’s administration. As the name suggests the casino is located in Burnaby, British Columbia, and it is owned by Gateway Casinos & Entertainment. Prior to his offence, Mr. Leung worked for the company for 13 years.
In court, Mr. Leung is represented by Julia Hung, who elaborated that at the time, Mr. Leung’s brother was battling late-stage cancer, and her client wanted to provide financial support to his brother. The married father of an adult daughter was initially accused of taking more than CA$5,000, which he palmed from gaming tables into his pocket, but his charge was reduced.
BC provincial court Judge James Sutherland ruled that the defendant must pay back CA$2,500, banned him from stepping foot at the casino, and ordered him to write an apology letter. The judge noted that he committed a very serious offence, but opted for leniency, as Mr. Leung did not have other criminal records, and has put efforts towards rehabilitation.
Crown prosecutor Sharon Preston urged for an additional 12-month suspended sentence. But Judge Sutherland commented that it will not be necessary as Mr., Leung had a lot to offer to the community of the doors of opportunity are before him. It should be noted that the Crown usually calls for prison time in the case of employee theft, but Ms. Preston said that the defendant has taken real steps to make amends.
His lawyer, Ms. Hung stated that the culprit has already suffered from the consequences of his crime, as he lost his job, and has trouble finding work. She added that Mr. Leung has also taken counselling sessions at his own expense, and has voluntarily participated in over 100 hours of community service at the Great Vancouver Food Bank and Oceanwise Shoreline Cleanups.
Adding More Properties Across Canada
Meanwhile, the owner of Grand Villa Casino Burnaby – Gateway Casinos & Entertainment is working hard on increasing its operations across Canada. Most recently the gaming conglomerate launched a brand-new casino in Wasaga Beach, Ontario. The property is branded Playtime Casino Wasaga Beach and it now offers more than 250 slots, live gaming tables, dining amenities, and more.
Prior to that, in September, the gaming leader finally opened its Cascades Casino Delta in British Columbia. After numerous delays, the CA$99 million casino property located at 6005 BC-17A is now open to the public. It touts an impressive 42,000-square-foot gaming floor equipped with over 500 slot machines, 18 live table games, and four to six electronic table games for patrons to enjoy.
Source: Conneller, Philip “Grand Villa Casino Worker Stole Chips to Help Dying Brother, Spared Prison” Casino.org, November 29, 2022