Croupiers caught fixing roulette spins at Blackpool casino
Two croupiers and a friend acting as a customer pocketed £23,000 after fixing a roulette wheel a court heard today.
Craig Walker and Daniel Johnson, who worked as croupiers at Coral Island Casino in Blackpool, rigged a roulette wheel so that their friend Kevin Traynor could win thousands of pounds. The three crooks then shared the cash in scam that has rarely been seen.
Preston Crown Court was told how Walker, 26 and Johnson, 29, worked out a way of performing a ‘no spin’, where the roulette ball stayed fixed on one number. The pair got their friend involved, who visited the casino acting as a paying customer.
When the time was right, one of the croupiers would scratch their head, indicating to Traynor to increase his bet from £25 to £100. He would then win as his number came in every time he did this.
Suspicion was aroused when it became apparent that he was repeatedly winning big, but he seemed to be betting fairly small sums on average. CCTV was later examined and it was clear that something was going on between Traynor and the two croupiers.
In sentencing the men, Recorder Nicholas Clarke QC said: 'On eight occasions you operated the game in such a way that your stooge, who you brought in from Manchester, could come in and play the game to win.
'You gave a signal, a no spin was arranged which prompted an increased bet and so secured a larger win than you would by playing by chance or without the knowledge of the wheel.'
Walker, of Blackpool, was jailed for 14 months, while Johnson, also of Blackpool, was jailed for 12 months.
Traynor, of Greater Manchester, was given a nine-month sentence suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
Patrick Williamson, prosecuting, said: 'All three said their motivation was that they had been in debt.'
Fraser Livesey, defending Walker, said: 'He will never again work in the trade he has learned since he was 18. No one is ever going to trust him.'
Brian Williams, for Johnson, said: 'What began as an idle discussion developed into a plan. He can hardly believe they did it.'