Two names have been added to Nevada’s “black book,” meaning the two craps players are banned from entering casinos in the state after swindling the Bellagio on the Las Vegas Strip out of more than $1 million.
Anthony Grant Granito and James Russell Cooper, who became the 33rd and 34th persons to be placed on the state’s list of people barred from entering casinos, were among a group of four men who scammed the casino between August 2012 and July 2014 of an estimated $1.2 million, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Casino officials became aware of the con in 2014 after noticing several bets that won despite 452 billion-to-1 odds, according to the Review-Journal.
Granito and Cooper, along with Jeffrey Martin and Mark Branco, were convicted in 2016 and sentenced to prison on theft and cheating charges, the paper reported.
Branco, who worked at the Bellagio as a craps dealer, would have to be working at the same table with Cooper for the scheme to work, the paper reported, citing Cooper’s grand jury testimony.
The two other men would then mumble a hop bet under their breath. A hop bet is a wager one places hoping that specific numbers will show up on the dice when it is rolled. One of the dealers would pay out the bet, appearing to hear what the gambler had called out.
They also placed legitimate bets and lost thousands to make their scheme look less suspicious, according to the Review-Journal.
According to the paper, the tables at the Bellagio did not have a designated spot for hop bets.
Branco is the only one still incarcerated, while the other three are on probation, according to the paper.
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