Posted on: August 17, 2023, 07:07h.
Last updated on: August 17, 2023, 07:07h.
Casino Mediterraneo Alicante in Alicante, Spain, was the victim last year of a scam two employees and the father of one of them concocted. It didn't take long for the croupier and table boss – the croupier's wife – to be busted, and are now on trial for their crimes.
The trio had a plan to defraud the casino of perhaps millions of euros and, in less than a month, they obtained almost €50,000 (US$54,410) as they put the scheme into action. The casino workers helped set the roulette game up so the croupier's father would be able to consistently win.
The casino was able to pick up on the antics, bringing the plan to a grinding halt after it contacted the police. Prosecutors in Alicante are now ready to punish the three for the scheme.
New Twist to Old Plot
Scamming roulette tables isn't a novel idea. Some shady casinos did it as far back as 100 years ago to scam gamblers and criminals today still look for ways to game the game.
However, the scheme took a different approach than do most tied to roulette. Instead of manipulating the ball to fall on a particular number, the chips were moved into the winning spot on the layout when the ball stopped.
This deception was repeated for five days in February and another fourteen in March of last year. In this period, they pocketed €46,325 (US$50,410) in cash. The father was always a winner and got at least €400 (US$435) a day, says the prosecution.
The prosecutor's office wants the three to stand trial, and has presented an indictment against them. It considers the three defendants perpetrators of a continuous crime of fraud and has requested three years in prison for the two defendants who worked in the casino. In addition, it also wants a two-year prison sentence for the dealer's father.
It has also recommended that the trio repay the casino for the money they stole. That compensation would also carry additional fees and interest.
Poor Planning, Poorer Implementation
The events took place between February and March of last year. On the days that the couple worked the American roulette table, the father of the unidentified croupier went to the casino, heading directly to the table his son was covering.
The decision to only play at the roulette table, where he had family overseeing the action, would eventually arouse suspicion in any situation, since casinos closely monitor their tables. It's something that is prohibited by gaming regulations in Alicante.
To carry out the scheme, the man bet on a dropped ball and the two employees accepted the wager. This is despite the fact that they should have rejected it since the ball had already stopped spinning around the wheel. Thus, the croupier, with the consent of the table manager, secretly placed the chips that his father had bet on the number where the ball had landed.
Spain has had a difficult time keeping its roulette games – both manual and electronic – clean the past couple of years. However, each time a crook tries to beat the system, the casinos learn and try to adjust their operations to repel future attempts.
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