Gaming and Casino Fraud
Gaming and Casino Fraud Lawyer in Las Vegas
What Is Casino Fraud And Why Is It So Serious?
People come to Las Vegas casinos to have some fun and test their luck. However, others come to the strip to engage in casino fraud, which is similar to insider trading on Wall Street. Casino fraud is a very serious offense in Las Vegas and can lead to severe penalties and jail time. Given the importance of gaming to the local economy, law enforcement will not hesitate to prosecute persons suspected of fraud or cheating.
Over the years, casinos have lost millions of dollars due to fraud and cheating. While the casinos have incredible security, no system is fool proof. In order to ensure the public’s confidence in gaming and to deter casino fraud, the Nevada legislature enacted laws designed to punish those that seek to cheat the gaming industry.
Chapter 465 of Nevada State law refers to crimes committed in a gaming institution, such as a Las Vegas casino. Included in the NRS 465.070 statute are:
- Acts of fraud
- Use/possession of hardware, devices, or software that can help you gain an advantage while gaming
The goal of casino fraud is obvious – to gain an advantage and beat your opponents or “the house.” Typically, you gain an advantage by gaining and utilizing insider information. For example, if you’re friends with one of the dealers at your favorite casino and he or she directly tells you or somehow hints to you information about the deck, and you use that information to place a large bet, you and the dealer are both guilty of casino fraud and can face criminal prosecution.
You can be guilty of casino fraud in Las Vegas even if you’re not the one directly placing the bet. Simply helping someone commit fraud also constitutes a crime.
Additionally, your arrest and conviction are not dependent upon whether you made any money on the bet. Even if you lost, simply using the insider information is a crime and will cause authorities to seek criminal action against you.
Manipulating A Gaming Device With The Intent To Cheat
Under NRS 465.070, cheating by somehow manipulating a casino’s gaming devices is also a crime. If you knowingly tamper with a device with the intent to cheat, you are guilty of gaming fraud. Even if you do not get the chance to use your knowledge and play the game, simply tampering with an intent to cheat can get you arrested for fraud here in Las Vegas.
How Players Have Tried To Beat The System
Some players use fraudulent practices to win at games like blackjack and machine games like slots. Players who committed these crimes (and were eventually caught) have been able to win tens of thousands or even millions of dollars from Las Vegas casinos. They’ve used a variety of methods, including:
- Making homemade tools to trick slot machines into spitting out coins
- Extreme card counting (some would describe this as frowned-upon but not necessarily illegal)
- Developing software to tamper with gaming machines
- Counterfeiting slot machine coins
- Recognizing glitches in the systems of gaming machines and using that to play the same winning hand repeatedly
- A combination of late-betting and sleight of hand
Penalties For Engaging In Casino And Gaming Fraud In Las Vegas
If it’s your first time violating a casino fraud law, you’ll be facing a Category C felony, which can carry a $10,000 fine, restitution, and up to five years in a Nevada State Prison.
Further convictions will result in a Category B felony, resulting in a $10,000 fine, restitution, and up to six years in prison.
In addition to penalties for casino gaming fraud, Nevada has a separate statute regarding racing and insider information (NRS 465.090). Prosecutors can charge you with a Category B felony for spreading insider data about racing with the intent to induce others to bet or wager based on the information you provided.
The penalty for racing fraud includes paying restitution, a $5,000 fine, and up to six years in the Nevada State Prison system.
How A Las Vegas Lawyer Can Defend You In Court
If you’ve been charged with gaming fraud, the first thing you need to do is contact a Nevada casino fraud attorney – immediately. To fight your case, a good attorney will look for ways to weaken the prosecutor’s case against you. The easiest way to do this is to attack the evidence against you or seek its suppression.
Some common defenses in fraud cases include:
- An argument of no fraud: Sometimes, casino personnel and law enforcement conclude that someone is committing a fraudulent act when, in fact, they are just lucky or really good at the game. If your criminal defense attorney can prove that your actions did not constitute fraud, the prosecution will drop the charges against you.
- Insufficient evidence: For a conviction to occur, the prosecution needs to prove that you are guilty of casino fraud beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, if the case against you consists only of circumstantial evidence, there are multiple inconsistencies, or the evidence overall is inadequate, the charges should not stick.
- Proof of an illegal search: If the police conducted an unlawful search while investigating casino fraud, your attorney would likely file a motion to suppress evidence. The motion asks that the judge disregard any evidence seized during the unlawful search. If the judge decides that the actions of the police were indeed unconstitutional and complies with your attorney’s request, the Nevada District Attorney will likely drop the case against you.
Choose A Legal Team With Decades Of Experience And Knowledge
The legal team at The Vegas Lawyers have decades of experience and knowledge. We have both a former judge and a federal prosecutor on our team ready to help. Our lawyers and paralegals use that experience to your benefit. It is our duty and privilege to serve those in our community by protecting their legal rights – and we are ready to help you! Call today for a free and confidential consultation. You can reach us at (702) 707-7000 or through our chat. Don’t gamble with your lawyer. Protect your rights by contacting The Vegas Lawyers today.