Cheating and Swindling at a Massachusetts Gaming Table
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission prohibits cheating at gambling tables in locations such as the MGM Springfield and the Encore Boston Casinos. With the recent openings of these venues the police are definitely seeing an uptick in crime. The laws that pertain to cheating while gambling in Massachusetts can be found in the statute at M.G.L. Ch. 23K, s. 39. If you decide to cheat at a gaming establishment in Massachusetts and, during the game, by any means including trickery, sleight of hand, fraudulent scheme or use of a gaming device, you win or attempt to win or to reduce a losing wager you will be charged with the crime of cheating and swindling in a Massachusetts Court.
The penalties for cheating at a gambling casino in Massachusetts are as follows:
If the value is $75,000 or more, this is considered a felony charge and you could be sentenced to state prison for up to 10 years or a house of correction for up to two and a half years or a fine of up to $1,000,000-$10,000,000 or both imprisonment and a fine.
If the value of the money or wager is at least $10.000 but less than $75,000 this is a felony crime punishable by up to 5 years in state prison or in a house of correction for up to two and a half years, or a fine from up to $500,000 - $5,000,000, or both.
If the value of the money or wager is $1000 or more but less than $10,000 this is also considered a felony punishable by 3 years in state prison or not more than 2 ½ years in a house of correction or by a fine from up to $100,000 to $1,000,000.
If a case where nothing of value was obtained or where the value of money or property obtained was less than $1000 this would be considered a misdemeanor crime punishable by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 ½ years or by a fine of up to $10,000, or both fine and imprisonment.
The Massachusetts casino cheating law considers each incidence of cheating separately and a prosecutor will attempt to charge you additionally for each transaction although in its discretion, the Commonwealth may treat multiple occasions of cheating or swindling as a single offense that was part of a single ongoing scheme.
The law also applies to any holder of a gambling license or an employee of a casino who knowingly conducts a game using swindling device or game. In such a case, that person may be punished by up to 5 years in state prison or up to 2 ½ years in jail. The court may also impose a fine not to exceed $25,000 -$100,000 or both fine or imprisonment.
If you are detained by the casino security or any police official it is of the utmost importance not to answer any questions about allegations made concerning cheating or swindling. The police are trained to detect crime and assist in the prosecution and they will transfer to the court any person arrested for that prosecution. The police will investigate thoroughly and often will use an arrestee’s words to assist them in that prosecution. Therefore, it is important to remember that the police officials are not there to be your friends, they are not your advisors, and they are not looking to do you any favors in a serious situation where you are accused of cheating while gambling in Massachusetts, no matter how nice they may treat you at the time.
If you are charged with a Massachusetts gaming violation involving cheating or swindling at any casino gaming table you will need a skilled and experienced attorney to help you overcome serious charges that could affect your freedom, career and family life. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy has over 25 years of criminal law experience and he can help resolve even serious and troubling gambling charges with a goal of putting your case behind you as soon as possible with caring and professional legal assistance. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy now for a free and confidential legal consultation.