Source: UK Daily Echo
A gambler cheated a casino out of almost £40,000 during a marathon session at an electronic roulette wheel. Tyrone Pooley, 56, played non-stop for 15 hours after spotting a technical fault which meant he could not lose, a court heard. He opened a panel on the machine and operated switches inside to void games in which he had not placed a winning bet, Southampton Crown Court was told. He was caught after being seen nudging the machine with his knee on CCTV, sparking an investigation by bosses at Maxims Casino in Town Quay, Southampton. Pooley placed spread bets amounting to £1,800 on every number except zero and the three numbers either side. After the ball was dispatched in each game, his wife, who was standing nearby, signalled to him if it had dropped into one of those seven numbers and he activated the door switches to cause a void. His bets would then be forwarded to the next game. The court heard that the machine had since been modified.
Pooley, of Langdale Court, Hove, East Sussex, admitted cheating at gaming and received a 45-week suspended sentence coupled with a 200-hour community work order. In mitigation, David Jenkins said Pooley was now down on his luck.
“He has had some astounding wins but like most gamblers he doesn’t talk much about losing. The fact is he is now living in rented accommodation and relying on state benefits. He has also been banned from every casino in the country, which is a bad blow for him,” he said. “The chances of him reoffending are low to non-existent. It was a chance he took. It was one which he wishes he hadn’t taken.”
The court was told that Pooley was the sole carer for his wife who was ten years older than him and suffering from heart problems. Judge Peter Ralls said that Pooley had been quick to spot the deficiency in the machine and to manipulate it to his advantage. He added that, as “a measure of mercy”, he was not sending him to prison immediately because he was of previous good character and because of his wife’s health difficulties.