I have heard of casinos falling for ridiculous amateur cheat scams and for huge money, but this one is REALLY ridiculous!
|This cheating dealer don't exactly look honest!|
The Bellagio Casino of Las Vegas fell victim to a hop-bet scam on its craps table that lasted two years and netted two Bellagio craps dealers, Mark Branco and James R. Cooper, and their accomplices more than a million bucks. A hops bet scam is nothing more than a call bet made on the craps table for a specific-combination outcome of the two dice just before they're rolled.
It pays off at high odds.
The player must immediately put his money on the table as he "hops" the bet.
In this casino-cheat hopping case, the two players would throw their money on the table and mumble out "hopping..."
|How 'bout this one?|
The scam came apart when another "clean" dealer got suspicious of the two dirty ones and alerted casino authorities.
As is the norm in Vegas, there was probably no boxman sitting at the table between the two dealers to nullify the inaudible bets. So you can see how a pair of cheating dealers could get away with this for so long. They and their cheating cohorts were winning these hop bets at payoffs of 15 and 30 to 1.
Branco got four years in prison. Cooper, who is cooperating with the investigation and has testified against Branco and their associates, will most likely receive a lighter sentence.
It is almost inconceivable to me that this rinky-dink scam could go on in a major Las Vegas Strip casino for two years and net a million bucks.
Talk about a casino needing some lessons in table game protection!
A big lesson here for the casinos is that they need to go back to putting boxmen on their craps tables!
And to think that Vegas casinos used to sit two boxmen on busy craps tables.