Sunday, September 07, 2008

Connecticut Casinos Hit By New Wave of Casino Cheating Scams and Continuation of Old Ones!

Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun, two of the world's biggest moneymaking casinos have been stung again by organized cheat groups, some working with crooked dealers, others working outside cheat scams with lots of skill, balls and cheating devices, and still others working bank and credit scams inside both these casinos. While I was working as a professional casino cheater, Foxwoods was one of my favorite candy stores. Seems that they still offer a plethora of opportunities for organized cheats. And don't forget, the casino busts that I report on are only the cases where the cheats get caught. For every casino cheat nabbed, there are dozens who get away with their scams and earn big money.

Here are the recent new scams and further developments on old ones, as appeared in the Norwich Bulletin:


Four New York residents were arrested Saturday morning after police said they used a cheating device at a baccarat table at Mohegan Sun. State police casino unit detectives said the gamblers were at a mini baccarat table using a cheating device to determine the order of the cards in the deck before they were dealt. Surveillance spotted the group acting suspiciously after 5 a.m. I do not yet know exactly what the device was, but as soon as I get more info on it I will pass it along.

The group now face charges of cheating while lawfully gambling, possession of a cheating device, first-degree larceny and first-degree criminal trespass. The following people were arrested and each held on $10,000 bond pending arraignment Monday in Norwich Superior Court: Yuan Chen, 50, of 749 57th St., Brooklyn, N.Y.; Dong Zhong, 45, of 1925 W. Sixth St., Brooklyn, N.Y.; Jim Tong, 41, of 500 E. Houston St., N.Y., N.Y.; and Yu Feng, 37, of 1225 White Plains Road, Bronx, N.Y.


When someone walked up to a craps table at Foxwoods Resort Casino or Mohegan Sun and said “strawberry daiquiri” or “hot chocolate,” the game was on.

The cheating game, according to police.

State police this week arrested the alleged ringleader of a scam in which dealers paid players for late bets and later collected payment for the favors. Richard S. Taylor, 42, of Memphis, Tenn., was charged Thursday with conspiracy to commit cheating at gambling, cheating at gambling and first-degree larceny. He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bond (a huge bond for a casino cheat crime! Looks like connecticut wants to get tough on casino cheats). A dozen more arrests are expected.

The State Police Casino Unit began investigating in December 2007 after a floor person at Foxwoods notified a manager that a craps dealer was cheating. They initially charged Taylor and dealer Mattie Tarlton. They now say the scheme has widened to include 13 people and that the region's two casinos lost $69,965.

In craps, a fast-moving dice game, players place their chips on certain parts of the table to indicate how they want to bet. Players can also call out their bets to the dealers before the dice land. If the player makes a bet too late, the dealer is supposed to reject it by indicating “no bet.”

In casino lingo, those who cheat at craps by placing bets after the dice have been rolled are called “shot takers.” Police said they interviewed several dealers who admitted to paying the “shot takers” for bad bets, then meeting up with them later to collect payment. Some of the dealers said the scam went on for years.

Taylor recruited dealers and players to participate in the scheme and even colluded with a Foxwoods employee who scheduled craps dealers to ensure that friendly dealers would be working when his crew arrived at a table, according to a lengthy arrest warrant affidavit prepared by state police detective Richard Bedard.

Taylor instructed the dealers that the cheating players would use the code words “strawberry daiquiri” or “hot chocolate” when they approached the table.

The dealers told the detective that Taylor, who is also known as “Mr. Casino,” “Mr. C,” “Shorty” and “Shaft,” was a big tipper who would often place bets “for the dealer” along with his own bets. They said he bragged about cheating at casinos around the country and said he and another man, known as “Big Al,” had “pulled down $110,000” in Las Vegas.

”Mr. C. talked about how they were going to make a movie of them ripping off casinos,” one dealer told the detective.

The dealers described meeting up with Taylor at local hotels and restaurants to collect cash payoffs. Two of the Foxwoods employees said he gave them $1,000 gaming chips from Mohegan Sun, which they immediately cashed in.

Taylor was arrested at New London Superior Court Thursday when he appeared for the initial cheating case. Standing outside the courthouse before he was taken into custody, he denied wrongdoing and said the casino officials are suspicious of him because he always places bets for the dealers. Table games players often tip dealers by placing chips beside their own bets and declaring that they are betting for the dealers.

Taylor said he always calls his bets and that craps is a verbal game. When police interviewed Taylor following his January arrest, he denied running a cheating crew and paying off dealers.

”The bet is all up to the dealer/employee at the table,” he said. “If they think it's a late bet, they don't accept (the) bet. It's all on them.”

Taylor is married with three children and had worked as a truck driver until he suffered a disabling injury, according to his attorney, Martin W. Schoepfer. The attorney argued for a lower bond at Taylor's arraignment, but Judge Susan B. Handy, who signed the arrest warrants in the case, said Taylor appears to be the person most responsible in “an elaborate, long-term scheme to defraud the casinos.”

Stay tuned for more on Connecticut's Casino cheats' "Candy Store!"