Ohio’s first casino, the Horseshoe in Cleveland, has attracted quite a bit of attention since it opened, but the news hasn’t exactly been all good. Seven people were recently charged with cheating at roulette and numerous other games including craps and blackjack.
Mike De Wine, the Ohio attorney General, and Bill Mason, who is a prosecutor in Cuyahoga County, said the accused were charged with using schemes to cheat the casino. The prosecution said video cameras caught some of the defendants placing bets at the roulette table after the outcome of the spin was already known.
In another instance, a man was accused of adding chips to his wager after the cards had been dealt during a Texas Hold’em game. It was reported that a third person allegedly distracted a blackjack dealer and then added to his bet on three separate occasions.
DeWine said that people should think twice before coming to one of Ohio’s casinos and trying to get away with casino cheating. The men were caught trying to pad their wallets during the Horseshoe Casino’s first month of operation after it opened to the public on May 14. The state also opened a new casino in the city of Toledo, and will open four in total.
The casino in Toledo opened at the end of May and there have already been eight gambling-related and cheating cases under investigation. Karen Huey, who is the director of enforcement for the casino commission, said the charges are a good way to deter people who are thinking about cheating in the state’s new casinos.
Huey said that stealing from one of the casinos is the same as cheating the State of Ohio and it won’t be tolerated. She added that enforcement agents have been well-trained and are working around the clock to fight against gaming crime. She stated that between 15 and 25 alleged cheaters have already been investigated at the two new casinos since they opened in May.
According to Ohio law, cheating includes several offences such as using a device that can affect the outcome of a game, claiming gaming winnings without making a bet, and playing with phony chips. Those who are first-time offenders of Ohio’s casino law can be sentenced up to 12 months in prison and could be hit with a $2,500 fine.
Huey said that each of the casinos employs a lead investigator, a supervisor and 10 armed, plainclothes state agents to help fight against cheating. The seven people accused of cheating at the Horseshoe Casino have been charged with one illegal gambling felony count, which is regarded as a felony of the fifth degree.
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