The incident at the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino was one of the highest reported frauds in the casino industry. The fraud happened in August 2022, when two guys on a blackjack table made a night kill out of their gameplay.
In about 3 hours of card playing, one of the guys won a whopping $5,300 while the other managed $2,200 in excess. The wins were unusual, leading the management to suspect foul play.
The two guys, together with a dealer in the casino, were arrested on different occasions once the police began assessing the aftermath of the events leading to the wins. Soon afterward, all three were arrested for the felony.
How the Fraud Caught the Eye of the Officers
Surveillance cameras inside the Buffalo casino helped the police understand how the trio committed the fraud. It was observed that the dealer showed the two cards to the duo that they were not supposed to see.
One of the guys and the dealer were arrested the following day. Emily M. Torres (the dealer) reported to work and was arrested. The other guy, identified as Mark M. Watson, the highest winner of over five grand, was arrested on 16th August at the casino as reported by the police.
Rahat Hossain, the third culprit, got arrested on Aust 21 as per the police report. The three faced charges of first-degree gaming fraud, which is a class E felony.
Usually, lesser cases of $1,000 and below are second-degree gaming fraud, but when the amount is over $1,000, it becomes a first-degree gaming fraud.
The Trial and Events During the Arrest
During the trial, Hossain did not admit to being guilty of the offense when he was arraigned at the Buffalo City Court. The other two suspects, Torres and Watson, are set to face their trials on September 8.
Upon arrest, police and prosecutors reported that both Watson and Hossain made ‘full restitution’ by paying $5,287.50 and $2,210, respectively.
Following the incident, the trio Torres, Watson, and Hossain have received a permanent ban from Seneca Gaming Corp. properties. This means that they will not be able to access the premises and participate in any activities until further notice,
The Seneca Gaming Corp spokesperson did not issue further statements on this story. We hope to hear from the management once the cases are determined and the culprit brought to book.
Fraud cases in the past years
Casino fraud is not new, as cases have been reported worldwide. Mega scandals have rocked the casino world in the past decade. One of the mega scandals was by Richard Marcus, who cheated casinos and walked away with over $5 million.
In New York, casino fraud cases are not that common. Tracing from January 2017 to around June 2022, only four cases have been reported, with four adults arrested. This report comes from the data retrieved from the Division of Criminal Justice Services.
Note that the data above only highlights cases with the most serious charge levied. From the data, three cases got filed as felonies, while the last one was misdemeanors.
Following the District Attorney’s Office report, no other arrests have been reported on first-degree gaming fraud in Erie County since 2018. One case that involved second-degree gaming fraud in 2019 was dismissed with the record getting sealed.
One of the previous cases at Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in 2016 involved a man on a second-degree gaming fraud. After he pleaded guilty, the prosecutors sentenced him to a conditional discharge.
Strict gaming regulators are now in place to help curb casino fraud. Some measures involve submitting transaction reports of certain amounts and installing surveillance cameras to help curb the vice-like the one at Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino that helped the police curf the culprits.
Last Updated on by Ryan