Cheater Scams $30,000 from Massachusetts Casino, Pleads Guilty

11 Apr

A man from Holyoke, Massachusetts has pleaded guilty to scamming a casino for more than $30,000. Daniel Ruiz, age 41, was order to pay full restitution and serve two years of probation in what is the first ever case where an individual was indicted for cheating in a casino in Massachusetts.

A state government statement contained the following:

“Daniel Ruiz, age 41, pleaded guilty March 24 in Hampden Superior Court to one count of Larceny by Single Scheme, and one count of Cheating and Swindling. Following the plea, Judge Edward McDonough ordered Ruiz to serve two years of probation with the condition that he pay $30,025 in restitution to the casino.”

The cheating occured between January 29, 2019 and February 14, 2019, at the MGM Springfield where Ruiz was playing at a Four Card Poker table. Using one of the oldest tricks in the book, Ruiz resorted to plain, old sleight of hand to add extra bets during a hand that were unseen by the dealer.

He repeatedly asked for a large denomination chip to be exchanged for smaller ones and in the process added some of these to his existing bet already on the table. This is called bet-capping and is a well-known strategy by cheaters but not especially common as it is easily picked up by the cameras, which is how Ruiz was caught in the end.

In Massachusetts there is a dedicated Gaming Enforcement Division where investigators and prosecutors enforce the state’s Expanded Gaming Act of 2011 and go looking for evidence of all manner of financial crimes.

In this case both the prosecutor and Senior Financial Investigator worked for the GED, overseeing the work by the Massachusetts State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit.

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