Cases could jump from 215 in December 2014 to 400 by end of 2015, but prosecutors are indicting criminals to deter trend.
Several Ohian casinos made it in the US gambling news recently and it has not been for their high revenues or attractive games but because there has been an increase in crimes in these casinos. One crime report from the Ohio Casino Control Commission claims that prosecutors dealt with 215 cases between July 1, 2014 to December 2014 alone.
The charges concerned four casinos and 319 charges for felonies and misdemeanors. There were 40 cases of underage entry or attempted entry, in the year ending June 30. This is in compared to the 11 charges incurred the first six months of this fiscal year.
Over a six-month report there were six cases of resisting arrest compared to two for the 12-month report June 2013-June 2014. The four casinos involved, include Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, Horseshoe Casino Cincinatti, Hollywood Casino Columbus and Hollywood Casino Toledo.
Charges include trespassing, cheating, attempted cheating and theft.
In the most recent report, taking into account the last 6 months, Horseshoe Casino Cleveland accumulated 62 criminal charges over a 6-month period, from July to December 2014. Between June 2013 and June 30, 2014 only 81 charges were reported, which means crime in the casino increased significantly.
Horseshoe Casino Cleveland had 23 cases of alleged cheating and one charge of “safecracking”. According to Jessica Franks, commission spokeswoman, someone stole a bill validator canister from a slot machine. When the empty canister failed to open, the robber tried reselling it and was caught.
As for the Hollywood Casino Columbus, there were 70 criminal incidents reported. The casino had a record-breaking trespassing charges of 42 out of the total of 74 trespassing charges in the 4 casinos. Hollywood Casino Toledo tallied up 48 charges and Horseshoe Casino Cincinatti had the least, a grand total of 35.
• 4 casinos reported crimes while a 5th was the crime
• 400 cases could be reported by year end 2015
• 319 charges of felonies and infringement in four casinos
Just recently though, on New Year’s Day, Indiana man Levi Tipton was arrested and was charged with resisting arrest, criminal trespassing and assault after he refused to leave the Horseshoe Casino Cincinatti. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, 268 people were charged, out of the 319 arrested for felonies and misdemeanors at the four casinos.
Horseshoe Casino Cleveland spokeswoman, Shannon Mortland, stressed the importance of safety and security for their customers. The casino alerts the police each time an incident occurs. She also emphasized the fact that it was the law enforcement agency who decides whether to prosecute or not.
Ohian man indicted by grand Jury for operating illegal casino
While some casinos are reporting misdemeanors in their casino, other casinos are a misdemeanor themselves. Just recently, Marshal Lucas was indicted by a Hocking County Grand Jury, on charges of running an illegal casino and gambling violations under the US gambling laws revealed Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General.
The 53 year old Logan man, nicknamed Dancing Elk, was running the Red Door Casino at 44 E. Main Street in Logan, illegally. The case was investigated by the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Charitable Law Section, with assistance from the Ohio Investigative Unit.
He was found guilty on 24 counts of felony charges of operating “an illegal casino, operating a gambling house, gambling, and he was also charged for liquor violations after search warrants enabled a bust on the casino in March 2014.
Agents also confiscated the gambling machines as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of illegal gambling and liquor violations at the business. DeWine added that “Operating an illegal casino shows a blatant disregard for the law. We have a responsibility to uphold the law and to crack down on illegal gambling. We will continue to pursue those who operate outside the law”.
The Hocking County Prosecutor’s Office has appointed an attorney from the Ohio Attorney General’s Charitable Law Section to serve as special assistant prosecutor in the case. The offender’s partner thirty-eight year old Jennifer Lynn Vance, also of Logan, was also indicted on four gambling counts for her part in working at the illegal casino.
Some statistics show that some crimes have decreased but if crime reports continue at the current rate, the four casinos will be on track for a rise of more than 30 % over the previous fiscal year and charges could pass to 400 by the end of this fiscal year.