Gambling fraud is a serious offense in Nevada, and it can be defined in several ways. Under criminal law, gambling fraud is any act that involves:
- Altering or misrepresenting the outcome of a game or other event on which wagers have been made after the outcome is made sure but before it is revealed to the players.
- Placing, increasing, or decreasing a bet or determining the course of play after acquiring knowledge, not available to all players, of the outcome of the game or any event that affects the outcome of the game or which is the subject of the bet or to aid anyone in acquiring such knowledge to place, increase or decreasing a bet or determining the course of play contingent upon that event or outcome.
- Claiming, collecting or taking, or attempting to claim, collect or take, money or anything of value in or from a gambling game, with intent to defraud, without having made a wager contingent thereon, or to claim, collect or take an amount greater than the amount won.
- Knowingly entice or induce another to go to any place where a gambling game is being conducted or operated in violation of the provisions of this chapter, with the intent that the other person play or participate in that gambling game.
- Placing or increasing a bet after acquiring knowledge of the outcome of the game or other event that is the subject of the bet, including past-posting and pressing bets.
- Reducing the amount wagered or canceling the bet after acquiring knowledge of the outcome of the game or other event that is the subject of the bet, including pinching bets.
- Manipulating, 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, including, but not limited to, varying the pull of the handle of a slot machine, with knowledge that the manipulation affects the outcome of the game or with knowledge of any event that affects the outcome of the game.
- Offering, promising, or giving anything of value to anyone to influence the outcome of a race, sporting event, contest, or game upon which a wager may be made or placing, increasing, or decreasing a wager after acquiring knowledge, not available to the general public, that anyone has been offered, promised or given anything of value to influence the outcome of the race, sporting event, contest or game upon which the wager is placed, increased or decreased.
- Conspiring with another person or persons to commit, attempt to commit, or aid in the commission of any act defined in this section.
What Are Some Examples of Gambling Fraud?
Examples of gambling fraud or cheating at gambling include, but are not limited to:
Using or Possessing Devices to Aid in Fraud
Using or possessing a device with the intention of cheating is one of the more technologically advanced forms of gambling fraud. This could include anything from a hidden camera to capture the dealer’s hand, electronic devices that interfere with slot machine operations, or even mirrors to see hidden cards.
The sophistication of these devices can range from simple mirrors to complex electronic equipment. The primary intention behind using these devices is to gain an advantage that other players do not have, making the game’s outcome favorable to the cheater.
Manipulating Cards, Dice, or Game Equipment
Manipulation of game equipment is an age-old method of cheating. This could involve marking cards in a way that only the cheater can recognize, using loaded dice that favor certain outcomes, or tampering with electronic game equipment like roulette wheels. Techniques might include slight hand tricks to switch out cards or strategically “mis-throwing” dice. Such manipulations aim to control the game’s outcome or increase the odds of a particular result.
Colluding with Dealers or Other Players
Collusion is when two or more people work together secretly to cheat the game. This could involve a player and a dealer working in tandem, where the dealer might deal favorable cards or give hints. In poker games, players might share information about their hands or use signals to communicate their intentions, working together to take down a bigger pot and then share the winnings. Collusion can be challenging to detect, especially when the parties involved have developed subtle communication methods.
Placing Bets after Gaining Unfair Knowledge
This method of cheating is all about timing. It involves a player placing a bet after obtaining information that should not be available to them. For instance, in roulette, a player might try to place a bet once the ball has already settled, or in horse racing, betting on a race after it has begun and having insider knowledge of a horse’s performance. It’s an attempt to ensure a win by capitalizing on information that isn’t publicly available or is obtained after a specific event.
Switching Chips or Altering Their Value
Chips are the currency of casinos, and tampering with them can lead to fraudulent gains. This might involve a player introducing higher-value chips into a game once play has started or subtly swapping out lower-value chips for higher ones when cashing out. Another tactic is to alter the appearance of a chip, making a $5 chip look like a $50 chip, for example. These methods misrepresent the value in play, leading to greater earnings when exchanged for real money.
What Is the Punishment for Gambling Fraud in Nevada?
Gambling fraud is a serious offense in Nevada, and the punishment depends on whether it is a first-time or a subsequent conviction.
A first-time conviction of gambling fraud is a category C felony criminal charge, which can carry a prison sentence of 1 to 5 years, a fine of up to $10,000, and restitution to the victim. A subsequent conviction of gambling fraud is a category B felony, which can carry a prison sentence of 1 to 6 years, a fine of up to $10,000, and restitution to the victim. Probation may be granted for a first-time conviction but not a subsequent one.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Absolutely. Facing charges, especially ones as serious as gambling fraud in Nevada, can be an intimidating experience.
Nevada, being home to the entertainment capital of Las Vegas, has a complex set of gambling laws. An experienced lawyer will thoroughly know these laws and can effectively argue your case.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the legal system, and without proper guidance, you may inadvertently incriminate yourself or miss vital rights. A lawyer ensures that your rights are protected at every stage of the legal process.
Every case has its unique aspects. An attorney will thoroughly review the evidence, interview witnesses, and potentially challenge the prosecution’s claims, all to build the strongest defense on your behalf.
If it’s in your best interest, a lawyer may negotiate with the prosecution for a reduced charge or a more lenient sentence. This could mean the difference between facing a hefty fine or imprisonment and receiving probation or a dismissal.
In light of all these reasons, if you or someone you know is grappling with gambling fraud allegations in Nevada, don’t leave anything to chance. Reach out to a Nevada fraud lawyer through LegalMatch to get started. They can guide you every step of the way.