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Crown Perth croupiers fined for running poker house

Two Crown Perth croupiers have been fined for setting up an illegal gaming house in a rental property so they could hold poker nights with casino workers who were banned from gambling.

As licensed croupiers, husband and wife Eugene and Jacqueline Soh were not allowed to gamble at the casino or place bets at the TAB.

But Mr Soh enjoyed the occasional punt, so he decided to rent a house in Morley for $220 a week for the sole purpose of playing poker with fellow croupiers who were also not permitted to gamble.

The couple set up a poker table in the empty house, stocked up on food and drinks and got a dealer to run the games.

During their weekly gambling nights with colleagues, the pair would take a cut from the winnings of each hand.

Most of the cash was used to cover the cost of running the gaming house, but Mr and Mrs Soh also took home a small profit.

Mr and Mrs Soh were due to face trial in Perth Magistrate’s Court yesterday but instead pleaded guilty to using the rented house as a common gaming house.

Mr Soh also pleaded guilty to taking part in the gambling.

Magistrate Greg Smith told the court that Mr and Mrs Soh knew what they were doing was wrong but said their prime motivation was to get together with colleagues to play cards, not to make money.

He fined Mr Soh $3250 and his wife $1500 and granted the pair spent convictions after accepting they were of prior good character and were unlikely to reoffend.

Mr and Mrs Soh were caught after a long and resource-intensive investigation, which included surveillance of the house.

Police searched the house in September last year and found nine people, including Mr Soh, sitting around a table filled with chips and cards.

The couple’s lawyer, Seamus Rafferty, said Mr and Mrs Soh did not appreciate how much trouble they could get into if they were caught. He said they were likely to lose their casino employee licences as a result of their convictions.

Mr and Mrs Soh were also ordered to pay $1000 in costs.

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