CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has announced the indictments of five people for cheating at Cincinnati's Horseshoe Casino.
"The Horseshoe Casino is probably the most surveilled area in Hamilton County," Deters said. "For someone to believe they can cheat and get away with it like these individuals did is idiotic."
Shawn Williams, of Colerain, Toriauna Anderson, of Westwood, Jonathan Key, of Springdale, Kenneth Stone, of Avondale, and Alex Caudill, of Lebanon, are all charged with two counts of Casino Gambling, a fifth-degree felony.
"I'm sure it's a shock for these five," Deters said. "They probably thought they got away with this thing a long time ago."
Deters says the gamblers were identified through BMV photos and players cards.
"Hopefully this will serve as a deterrent that the gaming agents are on duty and we're watching," said Karen Huey, director of enforcement for the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
If convicted, they face the possibility of two years in prison.
All are charged with either 'capping their bets,' 'pinching their bets' or 'past posting' their bets. When someone 'caps their bet,' they try to put more money on the table to increase their odds of winning after the betting has closed. When someone 'pinches their bet,' they try to take back their money on a losing bet. When someone 'past posts their bet,' they are trying to put a bet out on a winner after the outcome of the bet has been decided.
The events occurred while the defendants were playing at the craps or blackjack tables.
"We're not looking at just a onetime thing," Huey said. "We're looking at the people that are moving around [and] even after being warned that they're not playing correctly they continue to cheat."
Deters says the offenses involved $50 to $500.
Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati opened almost three months ago. It has more than a thousand surveillance cameras, pit bosses with years of experience, and about a dozen state agents on the lookout.
The state of Ohio has caught about 10 cheaters each month since the first of four casinos opened in Cleveland a year ago. Thus far 57 people across Ohio have been indicted.
"Once the casinos open we do see a flurry of cheating cases we attribute that to the newness of the dealers and the newness of the facility," Huey explained. "We feel that a lot of people try to come in and test the casino."
"We do want to send a message to the community that cheating in this casino is not going to be tolerated," Deters emphasized.
State officials say cheaters not only steal from the house, but also Ohio's counties, cities and school districts. That's because the state collects 33 percent in gross revenue taxes from the casinos - about $203 million in one year.