Busted Iowa Card Dealer Reportedly Used Bad Shuffles to Help Gamblers Win, Score Big Tips

Posted on: June 25, 2019, 06:36h. 

Last updated on: June 25, 2019, 06:36h.

A former dealer at the Isle Casino Hotel in Waterloo, Iowa was recently arrested for allegedly cheating his employer.

The Isle Casino in Iowa where a former staffer allegedly cheated to land big tips. (Image: Iowa Casinos)

In an effort to help gamblers at his tables win so he could score bigger tips, Jordan Michael Makinster, 27, of Gilbertville, Iowa allegedly used bad shuffles to stack decks in players’ favor.

He was arrested on June 19 on charges of “altering the outcome of a gambling game,” reports the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. That crime is classified as a felony in the Hawkeye State.

The Isle Casino Hotel is owned by Eldorado Resorts Inc., the company that on Monday unveiled a $17.3 billion bid for Caesars Entertainment.

Trouble With The Shuffle

In March, Makinster, who is no longer employed by Eldorado, was dealing a game called “Match ‘Em Hi-Lo” when managers at the casino found he was not properly dealing the cards to players, according to the Courier.

In the game, gamblers attempt to predict whether the total of the three cards they are dealt will be higher or lower than the dealer’s three cards. An ace is worth one point in “lo” hands and 11 points in “high” hands while the 2 through 10 cards are assigned face values. Jacks, Queens and Kings have values of zero.

“Match ‘Em Hi-Lo” is one of 25 table games offered at the Isle Casino Hotel.

Makinster’s LinkedIn profile said he worked at the gaming property from August 2015 through March 2019. In his own words, he communicated “effectively with guests, quickly and accurately count and handle small and large sums of money, maintain security on the game I am dealing, be able to efficiently deal all table games and explain rules clearly to guests.”

He’s currently a teacher and choreographer at the National Dance Academy in Cedar Falls, Iowa, according to LinkedIn.

Iowa Laws

In Iowa, it is a crime to alter or misrepresent “the outcome of a gambling game on which wagers have been made after the outcome is made sure but before it is revealed to the players,” according to the state legislature.

State law defines cheating in gambling as a “means to alter the selection of criteria which determine the result of a gambling game or the amount or frequency of payment in a gambling game.”

Makinster isn’t the first Iowa casino employee to allegedly run afoul of the law. In 2016 at the Horseshoe Council Bluffs, a Caesars property, a supervisor, dealer and patron were slapped with felony conspiracy charges for bilking that gaming venue out of more than $20,000.

The three men allegedly cheated at roulette multiple times with the player shifting chips onto winning numbers along with other illicit acts. They would meet up later to divvy up the ill-gotten gains.