Each year nearly 40 million people visit Las Vegas – and many of them hit the casinos. For most of the people playing in Nevada Casinos, it is straightforward with no attempt to manipulate the system. Sometimes though, it does happen.

Gaming fraud is a fairly prevalent type of financial fraud in Nevada although state and federal law enforcement, as well as casino related agencies, work together to keep it at a minimum.

If you have been arrested for casino fraud, here’s what you need to know.


Your Legal Guide To Gaming Fraud in Las Vegas

What is fraud in gambling?

Gaming fraud is not exactly a cut and dry crime. Many different acts could be construed as fraud. This means that they must be scrutinized by both the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney to ensure a fair trial. NRS 465.070 provides a comprehensive list of fraudulent acts committed in a casino.

  1. To alter or misrepresent the outcome of a game or other event after the bets are placed and the outcome is established but before the players are made aware of it.
  2. Making a bet or altering a bet after obtaining knowledge, that the other players do not have access to, of the games outcome.
  3. To claim, collect or take, or attempt to claim, collect or take, money or anything of value in or from a gambling game, with intent to defraud.
  4. Knowingly to entice or induce another player to go to a game that is fraudulent.
  5. To place or increase a bet after knowing the outcome of the game.
  6. To reduce the amount of a bet after knowing the outcome of the game.
  7. To manipulate, with the intent to cheat, any component of a gaming device in a manner contrary to the designed and normal operational purpose for the component.
  8. To offer, promise, or give anything of value to anyone for the purpose of influencing the outcome of a race, sporting event, contest, or game upon which a wager may be made.
  9. To change or alter the normal outcome of any game played on an interactive gaming system or the way in which the outcome is reported to any participant in the game.
  10. To make any agreement with a player, participant, judge, referee, manager, coach, or other official to violate the law by committing any of the activities here.

NRS 465.075 makes it illegal to possess or use any device, hardware, or software that gives you an advantage at playing games in the casino. This includes devices that project the game’s outcome or keep track of cards played, among others.

Can you go to jail for scamming a casino?

First offense gaming fraud in Nevada is a Class C Felony that carries 1-5 years in the state prison, a maximum $10,000 fine, and restitution.

Second or subsequent gaming fraud violations are Class B Felonies, carrying 1-6 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and restitution.

What happens if you get caught cheating in a casino?

There are several factors that determine what happens if you are caught cheating while playing in a casino. In some cases, you could simply be banned from the establishment. However, other factors like the value of the theft or fraud could incur more serious consequences.

You could be arrested and charged with a felony offense. This could mean prison time and steep fines, not to mention a black mark on your criminal record.

Who investigates gambling fraud?

There are several agencies that may get involved in gaming fraud, depending on the various factors of the case. The state police force may have a hand in the investigation and some casinos conduct their own investigations.

Several federal agencies also step up. If the casino fraud involves other white collar crimes like credit card fraud, money laundering, wire fraud, or sports bribery, then the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute (RICO) applies. Federal agencies that may investigate include:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • U.S. Marshalls
  • Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

What are the defenses for gaming fraud?

Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you is your best bet at beating gaming fraud charges. Depending on the specific details of your case, your lawyer may use one of these common defense strategies for casino fraud:

  • No fraud was committed
  • False allegations
  • Mistaken identity
  • Illegal search

Remember, the prosecution has to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime you are accused of committing in order to get a conviction.