Tuesday, October 07, 2008

West Virginia Casinos Banning Casino Cheats

Some smaller US casino venues are catching up with the big ones as far as trying to ban known casino cheats goes, especially those working from the inside to bilk their employer casinos. This West Virginia casino ban list is expected to grow quickly.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. Eight people convicted of gambling-related crimes have already been banned from West Virginia's three racetrack casinos, and officials say that's just the beginning.

Three of the eight are former racetrack employees caught stealing from or trying to steal from their employers or customers. State Police Sgt. J.M. Andreas said one took money from a visually impaired patron while making change.

The other five on the exclusion list, which was approved by the state Lottery Commission last week, were patrons caught cheating at table games. They all pleaded guilty to obtaining money under false pretenses.

The eight were notified of their banned status last week in certified letters sent by the commission.

"There's a lot more coming, I guarantee it,'' Andreas said Monday of the names on the list.

Andreas, who worked on all eight investigations, said he has made 16 to 20 other arrests for cheating but those defendants haven't yet been prosecuted.

Andreas said the most common offense is bet capping, which is a player sneaking another poker chip onto his initial wager if it looks like he's got a winning hand.

Andreas is the only officer dedicated solely to catching cheaters at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort in Chester and Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack in the Northern Panhandle, which started offering table games last year.