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article imageCasino Rama scam busted

By Brandigal (Donna)     May 25, 2007 in Crime
The Casino is being accused of recruiting dealers to cheat at baccarat, which police say netted them over $2 million dollars.
Casino Rama in Orillia, Ontario is now being accused of cheating in the card game baccarat.
Police say the casino recruited card dealers to cheat at the card games. Fifteen people , including several employees, have been arrested in the scam.
Canadian police are calling it the largest in memory. The investigation took 44 months and it was an international investigation which involved Ontario police, Windsor police, the FBI and also police from several states in the U.S.
It involved 18 casinos in Canada and United States. The states that were involved in the scam were California, Nevada, Mississippi, Louisiana, Washington state, Indiana and Connecticut.
It is considered to be organized crime. Members of the organization would signal a dealer to do a false shuffle and bet on the known order of the cards. Grand jurors also alleged the ring used hidden transmitters and special software to predict the order in which cards would appear.
Casino Rama was the only casino involved in the scam in Canada. It netted over $2 million dollars and the reports have the American casinos netting $3.3 million but U.S. Attorney Karen Hewitt in San Diego said the actual losses could be much higher.
15 people were arrested and charged at Casino Rama. Charges include participating in a criminal organization, conspiracy, laundering proceeds of crime, fraud over $5,000, possession of stolen property, and cheating at play.
There are also outstanding arrest warrants for 7 others from Windsor, Barrie, San Diego and Las Vegas.
Paul Burns, vice-president of the Canadian Gaming Association said Baccarat, popular with many gamblers, is a hard game to play and one that's difficult to cheat in. "They obviously have been tracking these guys and I suspect there's some organization created to do this and they've watched them to ensure they catch them all.""They probably move from casino to casino. Cheats do that. From what I know and have been told and heard, they generally move around." The fact people were arrested says the checks and balances and the regulatory environment worked,"
He said people are trained to spot cheaters on casino surveillance cameras. They are trained to spot known cheaters also. If the casino knows them and suspects them of cheating they are sometimes asked to leave. Most will move on and leave.
Baccarat have players sit around a large kidney shaped table in any of the open 14 seats. Each seat is associated with a number of the table layout – 1-15 (number 13 is excluded to avoid bad luck). The game employs three dealers. The first dealer stands in the middle and is known as the croupier, or caller. The responsibility of this dealer is to make the calls on the game and direct players through the procedures of the game. The remaining two dealers handle the payouts.
Arrest warrants have been issued for the following suspects:
Phat Tran, age 34 of Windsor, Ont
Tai Tran, age 45 of San Diego, Calif.
Hai Van Nguyen, age 34 of Barrie, Ont.
Kim Lam, age 34 of Windsor, Ont.
Anh Thi Tran, age 40 of San Diego, Calif.
Hop Nguyen, age 37 of San Diego, Calif.
Nam Van To, age 42 of Las Vegas, Nev.
Not sure how it proves the system works. What about the 44 months of cheating that went on? What about those people that were cheated during those months?
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