It may look like slight-of-hand but the charges being leveled against five casino-goers aren't so slight. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters is indicting five people for casino gaming offenses.
The alleged thieves are accused of stealing $50-$500 worth of chips. In Ohio, casino gaming offenses are felonies. If convicted on all charges, each defendant faces up to two years in prison.
Deters says the five were working individually. While the amounts stolen aren't very high, Deters says Tuesday's high-profile indictments are about sending a message to would-be cheaters.
Karen Huey with the Ohio Casino Control Commission says this brings the total number of casino cheating cases charged in Ohio to 57. The first Ohio casino opened in May 2012.
So how'd they do it?
Deters' office explains:
"The defendants are charged with either “capping their bets”, “pinching their bets” or “past posting” their bets. When someone “caps their bet”, they try to put more money on the table to increase their odds of winning after the betting has closed. When someone “pinches their bet”, they try to take back their money on a losing bet. When someone “past posts their bet”, they are trying to put a bet out on a winner after the outcome of the game has been decided."
Here's a video example the prosecutor's office shared:
Cameras caught some of the defendants cheating at craps and blackjack tables. Horseshoe Cincinnati has more than a thousand security cameras. Others were identified through BMV photos and even their own Horseshoe Cincinnati player's cards.
"It's like using a stolen credit card and using your Kroger Plus card to get points for gas," says Deters.
"I think it is very stupid to do what they're doing," says Deters. "Especially with the level of surveillance in this casino, it's insane. How would they possibly think they're going to get away with it?"
Those indicted include:
- Westwood resident Toriauna Anderson (DOB 3/2/92)
- Lebanon resident Alex Caudill (DOB 8/6/90)
- Springdale resident Jonathan Key (DOB 10/27/89)
- Avondale resident Kenneth Stone (DOB 11/28/77)
- Colerain resident Shawn Williams (DOB 6/16/79)