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Bellagio Craps Cheats Get Prison Time

Three Men Each Receive More Than 8 Years In Prison


Bellagio/WikipediaA former craps dealer, a former professional baseball player and another man received prison this week for cheating at craps at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Mark Branco, the dealer, along with Jeffrey Martin, a former professional baseball player, and Anthony Granito, a friend of Branco’s, all received more than eight years in prison for the $1 million scheme, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The men each pleaded guilty last year to theft and cheating at gambling.

A fourth defendant in the case, former dealer James R. Cooper Jr., is awaiting sentencing after helping Nevada prosecute the others.

“This is not about sending a message,” the prosecutor said. “It’s about punishing appropriately, and it’s about preventing anarchy.”

The cheating happened between August 2012 and July 2014.

MGM Resorts, the owner of the Bellagio, determined that the men defied odds of 452 billion-to-1. Granito and Martin won a hop bet, which pays about 15-1, 19 times in 230 rolls in a single session, according to the casino. During their winning streak, they would have been expected to lose $712,029, but they won a total of $1,086,400.

The scheme was discovered only after another dealer alerted the casino about suspicious activity. During sentencing, the men unsuccessfully asked the judge for probation.

Martin played minor league baseball for the Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds from 1995 to 2002.

Tags: Poker Crime,   Bellagio