Spain Croupier Busted for Rigging Roulette Wheel So Father Could Win

Posted on: August 17, 2023, 07:07h. 

Last updated on: August 17, 2023, 12:27h.

Last year, Casino Mediterraneo Alicante in Alicante, Spain, was the victim of a scam concocted by two employees and the father of one of them. The croupier and table boss, who’s also the croupier’s wife, were quickly busted, and the two are now on trial for their crimes.

The Casino Mediterraneo Alicante at dusk
The Casino Mediterraneo Alicante at dusk

The trio had a plan to defraud the casino of perhaps millions of euros, and in less than a month, they obtained almost €50,000 (US$54,410) as they put their scheme into action. The casino workers helped set the roulette game up so the croupier’s father would be able to consistently win.

The casino was able to pick up on the antics, bringing the plan to a grinding halt after it contacted the police. Prosecutors in Alicante are now ready to punish the three for the scheme.

New Twist to Old Plot

Scamming roulette tables isn’t a novel idea. Some shady casinos did it as far back as 100 years ago to scam gamblers, and criminals still look for ways to game the game today.

The scheme at Casino Mediterraneo took a different approach than most others tied to roulette. Instead of manipulating the ball to fall on a particular number, the chips were moved into the winning spot on the layout when the ball stopped.

This deception was repeated for five days in February and another 14 in March of last year. In this period, the accused pocketed €46,325 (US$50,410) in cash. The father was always a winner and got at least €400 (US$435) a day, says the prosecution.

The prosecutor’s office wants the three to stand trial and has presented an indictment against them. It considers the three defendants perpetrators of a continuous crime of fraud, and has requested three years in prison for the two defendants who worked in the casino. Prosecutors also want a two-year prison sentence for the dealer’s father.

Prosecutors are also recommending that the trio repay the casino for the money they stole and that the compensation carry additional fees and interest.

Poor Planning, Poorer Implementation

On the days that the couple worked the American roulette table, the father of the unidentified croupier went to the casino, heading directly to the table his son was covering.

The decision to only play at the roulette table, where he had family overseeing the action, would eventually arouse suspicion in any situation since casinos closely monitor their tables. It’s something that’s also prohibited by gaming regulations in Alicante.

To carry out the scheme, the man bet on a dropped ball and the two employees accepted the wager despite the fact that they should have rejected it, since the ball had already stopped spinning around the wheel. Thus, the croupier, with the consent of the table manager, secretly placed the chips that his father had bet on the number where the ball had landed.

Spain has had a difficult time keeping its roulette games, manual and electronic, clean over the past couple of years. However, each time a crook tries to beat the system, the casinos learn and try to adjust their operations to repel future attempts.