Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Card Switch Poker Cheats First To Be Busted With UK's Gambling Act!

Two men have been sentenced to a total of 14 months imprisonment in what is believed to be the first convictions for cheating at gambling under the Gambling Act 2005 in London. Mehmet Mersin, 46 and Suleyman Arik, 24, were arrested on 19 May 2009 by Westminster Police after being called to Empire Casino in Leicester Square.

Staff had suspected them of cheating at the venue on two occasions only the week before during which they won a total of £5,115. As a result when the pair returned on 19 May, they were identified and detained by the staff.

Their plan to cheat was underlined by Arik's use of a false name and Mersin's attempt at disguise using a wig. A total of £2,000 was recovered from Mersin and £450from Arik at the scene. Investigating detectives from the Metropolitan Police Clubs and Vice Unit viewed CCTV footage that showed the two of them swapping cards under the table during a game of three card poker.

During interviews both said they had a gambling addictions, and Mersin admitted giving Arik £500 to gamble with. Appearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, both pleaded guilty to cheating at gambling.

Arik, a Turkish national, was sentenced to six months' imprisonment and a deportation order. Mersin was today sentenced to eight months and issued with an ASBO banning him from visiting any casino across the country for the next 10 years.

Detective Inspector John Anderson from the Clubs and Vice Unit said: "There is no doubt Mersin and Arik planned to continue making money through cheating, and even believed they could get away with using false names and disguises. "This case shows such offenders can and will be prosecuted under the Gambling Act."