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Former Bellagio Craps Dealer Sentenced for $1 Million Scam

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Nov/06/2016

  • Dealer along with three others defied 452-billion-to-1 odds
  • Former MLB player also convicted as part of scheme
  • Dealer could serve up to five years in prison, others are looking at up to ten years behind bars
  • Odds are that over two years the crew would have lost $712,029, but it won $1,086,400, according to an MGM statistician.

A former Bellagio Casino craps dealer has been sentenced to two to five years in prison for his role in a $1 million scam against that establishment.

James R. Cooper Jr., 44, pleaded guilty to one count of theft in connection with orchestrating phony bets at the dice game that took place over a two year period from 2012 to 2014.

Cooper Jr. was accused along with three other individuals, including a one time Major League Baseball player, of scamming the Bellagio through what the Las Vegas Review Journal described as a “one-time, high-risk oral propositions in which a player wagered that a specific number would be rolled next,” wagers that defied 452-billion-to-1 odds.

Former dealer Mark Branco, one-time MLB player Jeffrey Martin and Anthony Granito were also convicted in the scheme and could serve up to ten years behind bars.

From the Las Vegas Review Journal:

Cooper and Branco would have to be working the same table, according to Cooper’s grand jury testimony. As a shooter tossed the dice, Granito or Martin would mumble something that sounded like a hop bet and one of the dealers would pay out as if they had correctly wagered on whatever fell.

At the time, the felt on the craps table at Bellagio had no designated spot for such bets.

Odds are that over two years the crew would have lost $712,029, but it won $1,086,400, according to an MGM statistician.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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