Casino scammers target new US casinos

According to casino and criminal state officials, the new casinos that are emerging in the Midwest of the United States are acting as a honey-pot to experienced casino cheats as they seek to take advantage of inexperienced croupiers and staff.

"We've had people coming in from out of state trying to take advantage of inexperienced staff or a staff that hasn't got all the bugs worked out,” said Joe Diaz, of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

However, the cheating is not all down to out-of-state-gamblers.

"We have a lot of local people who will try to add or take chips away when the dealer's not looking," said Diaz.

As one of the latest casinos to open in Iowa, the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort, general manager Joe Massa knew his new casino would be a target for casino cheats. He therefore made a point of hiring experienced floor and security staff and so far hasn’t discovered any out-of-state casino cheats.

However, there have been many cases of people attempting to cheat the casinos in the region. Three gamblers from the East Coast, including a man from Atlantic City, were charged in Iowa of attempting to trick slot machines into awarding them credits with the use of shaved coins. Casinos in Indiana are also carrying out an investigation into international cheaters with the help of the FBI and the IRS.

As a result, casino in the Midwest are know employing security measures as tight and as sophisticated as those used in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Casino staff from Indiana attend an eight-week training course alerting them to the signs of casino cheats such as marks on playing cards only visible with special glasses or contact lenses and suspicious mobile phones used for photographing the hands of poker players.

It seems casinos must have eyes everywhere for it is not uncommon for casino staff to try and cheat their employers. Six employees in Minnesota were charged with attempting to scam the casino out of jackpots they claimed they had already paid to customers.

Editor, - 2007-03-06 11:19:53

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