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America’s Dumbest Gambling Criminals

If you stole $200 from a casino, how much do you think you would be fined?

If you live in Pennsylvania then the answer is ‘a lot.’

A dealer, Matthew Eisenberg, 29, was charged with misdemeanor theft under the 2004 Gaming Act after sneaking $1 & $2 chips off the table and into his tip box. He reportedly did this 108 times to the tune of $200 at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. The local court ordered him to pay $200 in restitution, sentenced him to one year probation, and handed a sledgehammer of a fine worth $75,000.

To make matters worse, at the time of the penny-pinching, Eisenberg was a student and his girlfriend had a bun in the oven. His lawyer, Michael Santicola, called the ruling ‘draconian.’ It seems the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agrees, as they declared the mandatory $75,000 fine was ‘unconstitutional.’

The fine at issue here – both in an absolute sense and in a comparative sense – is strikingly disproportionate to the manner in which other crimes are punished in Pennsylvania,” said Chief Justice Ronald Castille.

The mandatory fine was handed out because an amendment to the 2004 Gaming Act – that came out in 2010 – stated that a mandatory fine of $75,000 would be handed out to anyone found guilty of theft inside a casino.

Santicola argued that had his client stolen $200 anywhere other than a casino the minimum mandatory fine would have been $10,000. The young dealer pleaded guilty on July 19, 2011 and it’s taken three years for his appeal to be heard.

Don’t Ask a Croupier What Their Lucky Number is!

If you think the Eisenberg case is a tad excessive, then spare a thought for a former Roulette croupier at the Meadows Casino in Washington, Pennsylvania.

Robert “Rudy” Valle is facing criminal charges of ‘conspiracy’ and ‘using illegal methods to win a bet’ after telling a customer that his {Valle’s} lucky number was four and he would try and hit it for him.

The customer duly placed a bet on the croupier’s lucky number and of course it came in.

Jail Time For the Masterminds Behind Illegal Poker Room

“What are you in for?”

“Running an illegal poker club.”

“How much did you rake in?”

“Around $26,000.”

Not very sexy, is it?

But that’s the conversation that’s going on between Thomas Rand and his fellow county convicts after being found guilty of running an illegal poker club out of the back of a Curves Health Club & Gym.

Rand, 43, of Williamstown, Pennsylvania, was one of six people to face charges. After pleading guilty, he received 270 days in county followed by probation. He was joined by Ryan Dion, of Blackwood, who faces 3 years probation and 364 days in county, and three dealers/cashiers also pleaded guilty with a sixth member yet to be charged.

It’s believed the shady establishment had been in operation for eight years. Police seized $26,000 during the raid.

More Shenanigans in Minnesota

Forget the Great Train Robbery of 1963. Ronnie Biggs and the gang have nothing on the Minnesota Four!

On July 4, 2013, four known gambling cheats made away with $200 in a mad 45-min flurry of activity at the Canterbury Park casino in Minnesota.

The quartet won the money playing at a three-card poker table. One of the players would distract the dealer whilst two more switched cards, and the fourth man tried to block the view of the camera.

“They just came in, made a quick hit and were gone,” said casino spokesman Jeff Maday.

Only one of the criminal masterminds has been caught. Duane L. Racle s being held in the Scott County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. Also charged, but at large, are James P. Mineham, Wildred Sanchez, and Nicholas R.Crowder.

All four gamblers are in there seventies!

Integrity is important,” said Maday when questioned on the urgency of finding the septuagenarians. “It’s important if you are another one of the players. You want to know that the game is legit.”

If you do see three suspicious old men hustling with their Zimmer frames then contact the Canterbury Park casino.

Invisible Ink Cheat Banned From all Connecticut Casinos

Rounding off our rogue’s gallery is Bruce Koloshi.

The serial casino cheat has been banned from all Connecticut casinos after pleading guilty to cheating in the New London Superior Court in Connecticut. Koloshi was facing charges pertaining to a night in September when he used invisible ink to mark cards in a game of Mississippi Stud Poker.

Koloshi was wearing specially designed contact lenses so he could identify the ink, but unbeknownst to him, the security teams in the loft were watching the action on black and white footage and could also see the ink.

It’s not the first time that Koloshi had used this scam. In Feb. 2013, Koloshi used his magic ink to win over $10k in the Delaware Park Casino, but he couldn’t collect the money because he would have to provide identification!

 

 

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Lee Davy

Life can be viewed as the sum of the parts or the parts themselves. I believe in the holistic view of life, or the sum. When dealing with individual parts you develop whack-a-mole syndrome; each time you clobber one problem with your hammer another one just pops up.

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