Del Lago Casino Patron Had Wrong Chips to Cash, Faces Felony Charges For Using Phonies

Posted on: September 10, 2019, 10:48h. 

Last updated on: September 11, 2019, 08:15h.

A visitor to New York’s del Lago Resort and Casino didn’t know when to fold ’em and he didn’t know when to run, because he’s now facing two felony charges related to the use of bogus gaming chips.

Gamblers at del Lago Casino in New York need to use real chips, as one man learned the hard way. (Image: WXKI News)

Ronnie E. Lewis, 62, of Rochester, N.Y. was arrested by New York State Troopers soon after his release from the Monroe County Jail in Rochester on different charges. He’s accused of using bogus chips to bilk the casino out of $600.

A lengthy investigation revealed that Lewis possessed a quantity of gambling chips that were altered in a way which allowed him to cash the chips in and obtain $600.00 in cash,” according to a note provided to by the New York State Troopers.

Following his arrest for the del Lago scheme, Lewis was moved to Seneca County Jail, where he currently resides awaiting arraignment.

Situated halfway between Rochester and Syracuse, del Lago recently opened a sportsbook, becoming the third of the four casinos in upstate New York to do so. The venue reduced the number of slot machines and table games to accommodate the book, but is expected to increase the other gaming offerings after its sports betting area ramps up.

Felonious Caper

For his trouble, Lewis is facing charges of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, a Class D felony in New York; and use of an unlawful gaming property, a Class E Felony under Empire State law.

Lewis’s offense is considered non-violent and sentences in New York for such Class D felonies range from no jail with probation up to seven years incarceration. Since the accused has a criminal record, it’s possible that he will face jail time if found guilty of the bogus chip effort at del Lago Casino.

Those convicted of non-violent Class E felonies in New York can receive sentences ranging from no jail and probation up to four years in prison.

In the Empire State, when a first-time offender is convicted of Class D or E felonies, the state “is of the opinion that a sentence of imprisonment is necessary, but that it would be unduly harsh to impose an indeterminate or determinate sentence, the court may impose a definite sentence of imprisonment and fix a term of one year or less,” according to state law.

However, that treatment excludes persons deemed to be a “second or persistent felony offender.”

Del Lago History

The del Lago Casino opened in 2017 and has since struggled to meet financial projections. In August, the Wilmot family said they were selling their 50 percent stake in the venue to their partner, Peninsula Pacific.

Gaming venues in Northern New York face competition from tribal rivals, as well as the geographic impediment of, in some cases, being 100 miles or more from New York City.