Bally’s Evansville Pit Supervisor Busted for Running Illegal Poker Den

Posted on: March 22, 2023, 07:19h. 

Last updated on: March 23, 2023, 02:45h.

A table games supervisor at Bally’s Evansville Casino,Ind. is facing three felony charges for allegedly moonlighting as an underground poker room operator.

Bally’s Evansville, Edward Hill, Ed’s Poker Club, Mark Edge
Edward Hill, left, and Mark Edge each face up to six years in prison, plus a fine of up to $10,000 for running Ed’s Poker Club in Evansville, Ind. (Image: Vanderburgh County Jail)

Edward Hill, 53, was charged on March 15 with corrupt business influence, professional gambling, and promoting professional gambling. These charges relate to the operation of “Ed’s Poker Club,” which was located inside an Evansville office building.

Hill had been running illegal poker games for years. But his business exploded when Bally’s closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a probable cause affidavit.

As a pit supervisor at Bally’s, Hill knew gamblers to whom he could publicize the invitation-only games via text. He told the landlord of his rented property that he was running a temp agency.

The Indiana Gaming Commission caught wind of the setup after receiving a tip from a “confidential source,” the affidavit states.

Poker Sting 

After receiving the tip, police had the whistleblower wear a wire and attend one of Ed’s Poker Club games. He was given marked bills to use as a buy-in and recorded video of Hill collecting money and interacting with players.

The unidentified informant obtained poker chips with an “Ed’s Poker Club” logo for investigators, which will be used in evidence.

When authorities raided the poker room, Hill answered the door. A game was in full swing, with 16 players competing on two tables. The players were interviewed and released, according to court documents.

Also present was Tarkus Dillard, a Bally’s dealer, who is not believed to have held a management role at the poker club. Another Bally’s dealer, Mark Edge, 41, was absent during the raid. He was arrested a day later, on March 16.

Edge is alleged to have been Hill’s primary dealer, who would sometimes manage the club’s day-to-day operations. He is also facing felony charges for his role in the operation.

Criminal Charges

Investigators seized gaming equipment, records, and $9,240 in cash at the scene. They also took Hill’s phone, which contained more than 170,000 messages, many related to the club’s operations.

Hill told police he made around $200 a night running the club. Edge took a 25% cut of the proceeds, according to court documents. If convicted, both men face up to six years in prison plus a fine of up to $10,000.

Bally’s, then known as the Tropicana Evansville, closed its doors at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. When it resumed operations three months later, the poker room remained shuttered.

Bally’s Corporation acquired the casino in June 2021 and has yet to reopen the poker room.