Thursday, August 07, 2008
UK Casino Rocked By Insider Roulette Scam!
Crooked Roulette Dealer Rigged £5,000 Win For His Niece at Newcastle Stanley Casino!
THEY say the house always wins, but not if crooked croupier Graham Magee has anything to do with it.
The 28-year-old fiddled his roulette wheel at Newcastle’s Stanley Casino so his niece could rake in thousands.
Magee, of Holme Avenue, Walker, made sure the ball landed on the black 28 when he knew niece Anneka Strachan had placed money on that number.
With the help of girlfriend and fellow casino worker Shelley Butters, 19, he fixed it for Strachan to pocket more than £5,000 through her “bets”.
But the trio were snared when security staff got suspicious at the bumper payout and started monitoring Magee’s tables.
Now the chips are down for the casino con artists after they were convicted of the high-stakes heist at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court.
Edith Sanderson, prosecuting, said: “Mr Magee was employed as a croupier. Miss Butters was also employed at the casino and Miss Strachan is a member.
“On April 24, 2007, Mr Magee and Miss Butters were working at the casino and Miss Strachan was placing cash bets on the roulette table that Mr Magee was in charge of.
“Miss Strachan had won a total of £5,132 in cash and had left the casino.”
Ms Sanderson told how police were called in after security staff monitoring table payouts got suspicious.
Ms Sanderson added: “CCTV was seized and clearly shows that Mr Magee had fixed the spins by planting the ball into the black 28 slot, allowing Miss Strachan to win.
“Miss Butters was seen talking to both of them during the incident. Miss Butters was arrested and she was interviewed and admitted that her boyfriend Mr Magee and his niece Miss Strachan had planned to fix the game to enable Miss Strachan to win more than £5,000 and they had said they would split the money between them.”
Ms Sanderson told how Magee was arrested and interviewed after his girlfriend. She said: “He fully admitted he had had the idea to fix the game because he was annoyed at the way he was treated at work.
“He said he intended sharing the money with Miss Strachan and Miss Butters.”
The court was told former heroin addict Strachan, 22, of Carville Road, Wallsend, tested positive for cocaine when she was arrested in connection with the scam.
The mother-of-one admitted the theft when she appeared before city magistrates.
Magee and Butters, of Brock Farm Court, North Shields, pleaded guilty to theft from their employer and had been warned they faced jail.
District judge Stephen Earl said: “I have read the reports, which were quite properly placed in the all-options band because clearly this was a planned and executed offence, although not the most sophisticated: putting the right ball in the right place for them to win and doing it blatantly.
“When it came to their attention, you were caught.
“It comes down to this, if you’re going to win, win small because the house expects to win and you guys should know that better than anyone.
“So, the first thing they do when you win £5,000, they will look at it, especially when after one spin you win that much. It will be looked at and you are very lucky not to be charged with a conspiracy charge.”
Gerry Bass, defending Strachan, said: “It is not my position to put the boot in but this lady wasn’t employed and she was invited to take part in the theft.
“She became a member to get involved. She filled in the form 24 hours before it took place.”
John Moran, defending Butters and Magee, said: “In respect of Butters, she is a lady of good character and has stayed out of trouble for the rest of her life up to this point.
“By his own admission, this was Magee’s idea. It was suggested to Butters by her boyfriend and she’s gone along with it. She has been the go-between between Magee and Strachan.”
Magee, now jobless, and Butters, who earns £175 a week, were told they were lucky to avoid jail as they were hit with 16-week sentences, suspended for 18 months. During that time, they must carry out 140 hours’ community service.
Strachan was given a 12-month community order with supervision requirements and has a 28-day curfew, meaning she must be in between 9pm and 7am.
All three must pay £260 compensation to the casino.