Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy

Former Bellagio Craps Dealer Released From Prison, Becomes 36th In State's 'Black Book'

After Spearheading A Cheating Ring That Took Bellagio For $1.2 Million, Former Dealer Is Barred From All Nevada Casinos

Print-icon
 

A former Bellagio craps dealer became the 36th person to be listed in Nevada’s ‘black book’ after being released from prison last week.

Last Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board added Mark William Branco to the book, which means he is barred from entering any of the state’s casinos. If he steps on any casino property, he would face felony charges.

Branco just finished a four-year prison sentence for cheating the Bellagio out of $1.2 million. Branco and co-worker Russell Cooper Jr. would allow their accomplices, Jeffrey D. Martin and Anthony Grant Granito, to place ‘hop’ bets after the number was already rolled.

The four were arrested in 2014 and sentenced in 2016. They were ordered to pay $1.05 million in restitution and pleaded guilty to felony charges of theft and cheating at gambling. They took a plea deal and avoided a trial that could’ve convicted them of much more.

Branco was the only member of the cheating ring to receive time behind bars. The other three received parole and entered the ‘black book’ years ago.

The only way to be removed from the book is through death.