Source: Bolton News
A cheating croupier teamed up with gamblers in a casino fraud to help him pay off debts. Peter Fisher paid over the odds when they placed bets at his roulette table at the Grosvenor G Casino, Bolton Magistrates Court heard. Two gamblers approached the croupier in January this year asking him to help them cheat. Crippled by a car debt from his teens and struggling to come to terms with his father’s death, he agreed. Fisher, aged 26, of Molyneux Road, Westhoughton, pleaded guilty at magistrates court yesterday to three counts of cheating at gambling.
Over three days, the customers made just less than £1,000, splitting their profits with Fisher. The town centre casino lost more than £2,000 in potential earnings, the court was told. William Donnelly, prosecuting, said: “All of a sudden, the punter has made a substantial profit without doing anything. “You can double your winnings without too much trouble.”
One of the gamblers had been discreet, always betting on the same numbers, the court heard. But the other was not, throwing money at Fisher for him to change. Another gambler spotted “something dodgy”, Mr Donnelly told magistrates, and reported Fisher to casino bosses. They reviewed CCTV footage of the table and uncovered the fraud. Fisher lost his job and his gaming licence, and following a police investigation, the former croupier was arrested and interviewed in May. William Birtwell, defending, said Fisher had brought shame on his family, especially his brother, who is a serving police officer. Mr Birtwell added: “He is disgusted with himself that he has allowed himself to get caught up in this. It was a moment of madness. He had worked hard to get where he was, but he has lost his gaming licence and can no longer work in the gambling profession.”
The court was told that croupiers were constantly asked to cheat by punters. Fisher had always said no, but finally relented in January this year, as his debts mounted. He had taken out a £5,000 loan for a car in his teens, but had taken out further high-interest agreements since then, in an attempt to consolidate his loans. January also marked the anniversary of his father’s death, the court was told. Chairman of the bench Frank Whittaker said: “You were caught redhanded. It is a significant amount over three days. If it had continued over, say, two years, it would have been an awful lot of money. You were a trusted senior member of staff. You didn’t do it alone, there was a level of organisation and premeditation.”
Police are currently investigating the other men involved in the fraud.
Following the hearing, Fisher said: “I do regret what I have done, it was a stupid mistake and it wasn’t like me at all. It was completely out of character and I have apologised for it.”
Fisher was warned by the court that he faces a high level community order when he is sentenced tomorrow.