Thursday, August 07, 2008
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.
This Time The Casino Cheat Scam Is in Harrah´s Chester, Pennsylvania Casino
Woman pleads guilty in Harrah's scheme.
MEDIA COURTHOUSE - A 26-year-old woman who made her own luck at Harrah's Casino in Chester by faking more than $30,000 worth of machine payouts, pleaded guilty July 7 to a charge of theft by unlawful taking. Qiana Dana Wright of Philadelphia was formally sentenced by Judge Ann Osborne to serve six to 23 months in jail. The plea agreement was ironed out by Deputy District Attorney Gregory Hurchalla and defense attorney Francis Holloran. Hurchalla said that Wright is barred from working in the gaming industry. He said her bail money was forfeited as part of her restitution.
Wright admitted to authorities, that while working as a slot host, she wrote false credited machine payouts on at least 11 occasions between Aug. 16 and Aug. 18, 2007, for $11,309. Hurchalla said it was later shown that she stole a total of $30,181.
He said as a slot host, she would be one who would identify a winner and then write out a form for payment. However, while working at the casino she admitted she would either casually walk the casino floor and write up the phony vouchers or go to an area and lean over the note pad, as to avoid being observed by the surveillance camera. She later cashed in phony vouchers. "This is the largest theft case to come out of Harrah's since the casino opened in Chester," said Hurchalla.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Cheating ring thwarted at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino
CHEROKEE, North Carolina – An electronic card game dealer and 11 gamblers are suspects in a cheating ring that took $286,000 from Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, tribal gaming and police officials said today.
No one has been arrested but investigators have questioned the 26-year-old card dealer, said Chief Ben Reed of the Cherokee Indian Police Department.
The FBI has been contacted, he said.
A two-week internal investigation broke up the ring, said Patrick Lambert, executive director of the Cherokee Tribal Gaming Commission, which regulates gambling operations at the casino. Police were called to take over last week, he said.
The casino offers digital blackjack and a digital game based on baccarat. Cheating in the traditional sense is impossible because the card games are all electronic, with a dealer who pushes a button to “deal” cards that show up on small screens in front of each player at the table.
The cheating ring operated with the dealer paying off players for wins that never occurred, Lambert said. The players then took their chips to the counter and received cash. The dealer got a kickback, he said.
The ring operated for about three weeks.
“We will be pushing for full prosecution of all those involved in this theft,” Lambert said in a written statement about the matter. “We want to assure the public that this scheme never put any patrons or the public in danger and this amounted to a system where a single employee had decided to help a group of players cheat at the table games.”
Lambert said computer programs, which match money paid at the cashier counter with winnings on the gambling floor, first alerted casino officials to the problem.
He declined to discuss how casino officials identified the dealer. No other employees are suspected, he said.
Lambert did say that workers who handle money or chips at Harrah’s Cherokee must follow strict procedures designed to thwart any attempt at theft. The casino floor is constantly monitored by video cameras, he said.
The security measures are in place to create a safe and fair casino, Lambert said.
The ring marks the first time the casino has uncovered cheating. All of its other games are video poker type machines.
The FBI could take the case because it occurred on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, where federal authorities have jurisdiction over major crimes. Reed said he has not heard whether the agency will take over.
If it does not, the case will be handled in Cherokee Tribal Court.
The card dealer, who was an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, could faces charges of embezzling, theft and conspiracy, the police chief said.
A spokeswoman at FBI office in Charlotte said the agency would neither confirm nor deny its involvement in the investigation.
Monday, August 04, 2008
Provincial regulator fines Halifax casino for unauthorized dealer
Nova Scotia's Utility and Review Board has fined the operator of the casino in Halifax a total of $75,000 for four violations of provincial gaming regulations, one of which concerns the hiring of a dealer who may have been involved in cheating players and the casino where she previously worked.
The largest fine, $25,000, was in connection with the employment of a part-time dealer who had been turned down by the province for registration in 2005, presumably because of cheating allegations.
In Nova Scotia, provincial regulations state that all "gaming assistants" must be licensed by the regulatory authtories and can be turned down if it is believed the applicant may not follow the law or was withholding crucial information.
In a written decision dated July 31, the board is critical of Metropolitan Entertainment Group and its parent company, Great Canadian Gaming Corp. for giving the dealer a job when it was plain that she was not approved by the province.
The board says the woman worked as a card dealer between June 2005 and January 2007.
"It is difficult to understand how an individual who was refused registration as a gaming assistant could be employed at the Halifax Casino for any period of time, let alone the time frame noted above," the written decision says.
The board notes that the registration process is to protect gamblers from the possibility of cheating by casino employees.
Audit in question
The decision says the board is also concerned about an audit done by casino workers at the Halifax facility in October 2006 that did not meet provincial requirements.
Other violations that led to fines involved using an unregistered gaming supplier to replace a slot-machine bank sign and allowing an unauthorized employee trainer to conduct a training session in February 2007.
The fines were originally recommended to the Utility and Review Board by the casino operator, and the Alcohol and Gaming Division of the province's Labour Department.
The board increased the amount of two fines, citing the gravity of the offences.
Nova Scotia has two casinos, in Halifax and Sydney, both operated by Great Canadian Gaming Corp through its local subsidiary.
Great Canadian Gaming also operates casinos in British Columbia and the United States.