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Crazy Gambling Stories From September

From Sports Bettor's Conviction To Card Counting Ban In Indiana


The gambling world can sometimes produce really off-the-wall stories. Every month there are plenty of cases of individuals going to extreme lengths to pay back debts, or of simply bizarre behavior at casino properties around the globe. It can be entertaining and sometimes sad.

September was no exception, as there was plenty that happened in the casino world.

Here’s a look at some of the most colorful and/or noteworthy from the month that was.

Legendary Las Vegas Sports Gambler Ordered To Forfeit $25 Million

Legendary and now infamous Las Vegas sports bettor Billy Walters was ordered by a federal judge to forfeit $25.4 million in ill-gotten gains from an insider trading scheme. In July, Walters was sentenced to five years in prison for the years-long plot to profit from illegal tips on the stock of Dean Foods. The former chairman of the company was the lead government witness. Walters will report to prison in October. Walters, 71, was convicted in April of the crimes.

Radio Personality Used Ponzi Scheme To Pay Off Massive Gambling Debts, Feds Say

American radio personality Craig Carton allegedly orchestrated a Ponzi scheme in order to repay a $2.5 million gambling debt, according to a lawsuit and charges filed by the federal government. Carton, the former co-host of the Boomer and Carton sports radio program on WFAN in New York City, was arrested for securities fraud and wire fraud. Along with a business partner, Carton allegedly “used new investor funds to repay earlier investors and other preexisting debts, including Carton’s debt to casinos, rather than to purchase tickets for resale as promised.”

Brooklyn Arson Was Over Rival Underground Poker Game, Feds Say

A fire that destroyed a building in Brooklyn was set because it housed a rival poker game to one ran by members of an Eastern European organized crime syndicate, the government said in a news release. According to a 33-page indictment, a group of men torched the building in the early morning hours of May 2, 2016. Fortunately no one died in the blaze, though two residents of the building and five firefighters were injured. All the men, with ages ranging from 28 to 39, are looking at decades in prison, respectively, if convicted of the alleged crimes, which also include assault in aid of racketeering, extortion and unlawful firearms dealing.

Controversial Poker Pro Slow Rolls Opponent In Crazy Cash Game Hand

Infamous British poker pro William Kassouf continued to live up to his reputation in a cash game outside of Los Angeles. Kassouf, a notoriously slow player as seen on last year’s World Series of Poker main event broadcasts, took his time in this hand in a $5-$5 no-limit hold’em game at the Bicycle Casino. In the hand Kassouf runs like God by flopping quads against his opponent’s top boat, and he takes his time in tormenting his opponent who obviously thought he had the hand won. The pot was worth about $1,500. On the river, Kassouf’s opponent put him all in. Kassouf went deep into the tank before calling.

Police: Teacher Steals Homecoming Money, Spends It At Casino

A Michigan high school teacher was trusted to coordinate student events, including homecoming and a student-parent trip. Instead, she stole thousands of dollars from the students. Macomb County, Mich., authorities said that Lydia Johnson blew it as part of the more than $90,000 she spent last year playing penny slots at MGM Grand Detroit casino. A search of her classroom at Dakota High School revealed several casino receipts next to the open and empty homecoming envelopes, prosecutor Eric Smith said in a news release.

Gambler Misses Out On $1.3 Million Jackpot Thanks To Slot Machine Glitch

A gambler who thought his luck was in after hitting the jackpot on a casino slot machine has seen his dreams royally flushed away after the venue claimed the machine suffered a “malfunction” and he was not eligible for a payout. Jerry Rape, from Alabama, believed he was the winner of a life-changing $1.37 million jackpot after putting $5 in an electronic bingo machine at the Wind Creek Casino. However, despite the bells, sirens and lights indicating to the stunned gambler he had stuck lucky, the casino took Rape’s ‘winning’ ticket and 24-hours later dealt him the bad news that the machine was faulty.

Gambler Loses Card Counting Ban Lawsuit In Indiana

A man who has been banned from numerous casinos because he counts cards when gambling lost his lawsuit against Hoosier Park and the Indiana Gaming Commission after his arrest for trespassing at the Anderson casino. Thomas P. Donovan is an “advantage player” who makes money at casinos by counting cards in blackjack or playing video poker games that have a near 100 percent return. In fact, his ban from the Grand Victoria Casino was affirmed by the Indiana Supreme Court in 2010. The card counting practice also led to his being banned from Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and its various off-track betting facilities in the state in 2011.