We have heard of some roulette scams in the past, but this one has to take the biscuit in terms of down-right cheek- even beating the French Cigarette Pack roulette scam in the seventies. One problem was that the fraudsters forgot about the CCTV cameras that most casinos are filled with these days.
The casino scammers managed to take a casino in Bristol to the cleaners to the tune of £14,000 after betting just twice on an automatic video roulette machine. These aren’t generally the most popular roulette wheels in the house- but that also means that they are not closely monitored, especially at six o’clock in the morning.
The 2 men, Ali Baglan and Hasan Gilgil, were later arrested after staff at the casino checked the CCTV cameras and spotted the pair manhandling the machine by literally lifting the lid off the roulette machine and dropping the ball in the pocket that they had bet on.
Ali Baglan pleaded guilty to theft from ‘a meter or automatic machine’ at the casino and was jailed for 16 months. Gilgil placed a £38 straight-up bet on the number 3 on a roulette wheel and scooped up £1,368.
His accomplice, Baglan bet £650 on the same number and won £13,050.
Both players were members of the club in Bristol which is not exactly a luxury casino on the lines of the Ritz, but still has a fair pile of cash in the vaults.They headed down to play on the morning of January 18.
Mr Baglan shielded his friend from onlookers while Mr Gilgil laid his bet. Gilgil was filmed lifting the glass cover of the roulette wheel as the ball was about to stop spinning and placing it on the number three.
They won £16,492-50 across a number of bets. Eventually Gilgil cashed out £1,370 and Baglan £12,400.
The club also had their fingerprints on the machine which allowed them to identify them through their membership database. Bothe men are from Gloucester and pleaded guilty to theft from ‘a meter or automatic machine’. They were each awarded a 16 months prison sentence. Baglan is originally from Turkey and has a wife and 3 children.
The court heard how easy it was for this scam to take place. These roulette wheels were not watched over by any staff and all Mr Gilgil had to do was lift the lid up, pick up the ball and drop it on their number.
No-one checked the CCTV immediately after the theft.
There are two thoughts we have on this.
1. Why was it so easy to lift the lid on the video roulette machine? It sounds like someone at the Bristol casino was negligent or they hadn’t done their maintenance checks. and
2. It doesn’t seem to be the cleverest scam, particularly when you take into consideration that all casinos these days have CCTV, or “Eyes in the Sky”. How were they expecting to get away with it? Going in disguise and not leaving fingerprints everywhere might have been slightly more cunning.