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Gang arrested after £1.3m win at Ritz casino

GamblingGambling: Gang arrested after £1.3m win at Ritz casino

Three people have been arrested on suspicion of using James Bond-style electronic trickery to win almost £1.3 million at a London casino.

The Metropolitan Police said today that two men and a woman, all from Eastern Europe, had been arrested for allegedly obtaining money by deception.

They are accused of using a scanner inserted into a mobile phone and hooked up to a microcomputer to calculate where a roulette ball would probably fall after the third turn of the wheel.

The Daily Mirror newspaper reported that the trio attracted suspicion when they won the huge sum at roulette last week at the casino in the Ritz Hotel. They were paid £300,000 in cash and more than £900,000 by cheque as part of their winnings.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said "a significant amount of cash had been seized in the investigation".

In the game of roulette bets are placed on alternate red and black numbers on a wheel, numbered 0 to 36, and odds are paid out according to where the roulette ball lands when the wheel is spun.

The newspaper said that police were investigating whether they had used the scanner to calculate the speed of the ball when released and its probable finishing point on the wheel.

By the time the calculation were made the gambler would still have several seconds before the croupier called "no more bets".

Bosses at the exclusive casino, frequented by Arab princes and international playboys, became suspicious of the amazing run of luck on March 16.

All tables are monitored using video cameras and experts looked at the tapes before calling in Scotland Yard.

Two Serbian men, aged 38 and 33, and a 32-year-old Hungarian woman were arrested and police also seized their winnings and mobile phones.

The suspects were taken to a police station and then bailed until March 30.

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies at Nottingham Trent University, said: "I havent heard of a laser scanner being used before but roulette mathematical systems have been used for years based on the speed of the ball and where the croupier puts the ball.

"It is reliant on calculations being done very quickly and when you have got technology involved it improves the chances.

"But the industry is well aware there may be underhand methods operating and when something happens once, word travels very quickly."

The alleged scam happened at one of the worlds most high-profile gaming houses.

The secret rooms of the Ritz Club casino are tucked away off Londons Piccadilly in the former ballroom of The Ritz Hotel.

It opened as a casino in 1978 and is now one of the worlds most exclusive, privately owned members-only clubs featuring chandeliers, ornate ceilings and plush red carpets.

A spokeswoman for the casino said today: "We have no comment to make."

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7 comments. Last comment 13 years ago by LottoBuddy.
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JAP69's avatar - alas
South Carolina
United States
Member #6
November 4, 2001
8790 Posts
Posted: March 22, 2004, 7:15 pm - IP Logged

They dont like it when you walk away with their cash. The bet was placed each time and where they chose to place the bet should be no concern of the casino. In that case it is illegal to use calculations to find where to place the bet.
Will they take away a lottery players win if the player said they used a system to find the numbers.


    Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
    Atlantic Mine, Michigan
    United States
    Member #416
    June 23, 2002
    1614 Posts
    Posted: March 22, 2004, 9:01 pm - IP Logged

    I hate when casinos do that.  I mean they make you feel like you did something wrong when you win.  Take for instance blackjack these days.  I mean you kinda learn how to count cards and they consider that cheating.  HOW????  Its part of the game isn't it?  And I mean having a little calculator that tells you were the ball could possible drop thats cheating too?  And you can get arrested for that?  Darn you take the houses edge down a little bit and they arrest you.  That calculator wasn't 100% accurate.  But it made the players a little better bettors...haha...anyway first I don't think I would have taken that much from the casino...I would have taken maybe a couple thousand and keep a low profile but still.  You can't be a smart player anymore or else you are cheating.  Thats BS!


      United States
      Member #2988
      December 10, 2003
      237 Posts
      Posted: March 23, 2004, 9:12 am - IP Logged

      Go read "The Eudaemonic Pie." I'm sure they did.

      I've found it necessary to add this signature line: My posting is not an invitation to send me a private message.

        New Member

        United States
        Member #4112
        March 23, 2004
        1 Posts
        Posted: March 23, 2004, 11:56 am - IP Logged

        I want to get that thing. if anyone has an idea about it, write to me.

          United States
          Member #379
          June 5, 2002
          11296 Posts
          Posted: March 23, 2004, 3:55 pm - IP Logged

          Notice the story had no "00" on the wheel.

            RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
            United States
            Member #9
            March 24, 2001
            19825 Posts
            Posted: March 24, 2004, 2:47 pm - IP Logged

            Makes one wonder if there was a program that could suggest lottery numbers that were more likely to hit, would it be legal?  Or it you won a big jackpot more than twice, would you dare continue to play in hopes of winning again.  Apparently, there no worry about that happing with the lottery software now available.


             * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                         Evil Looking       

              LottoBuddy's avatar - tails

              Member #3722
              February 15, 2004
              46 Posts
              Posted: March 24, 2004, 11:46 pm - IP Logged

              Gambing houses are always such sore losers.  Using a mobile phone or card counting should not be illegal.  Some lotteries are also bad in that they put a maximum limit on the prizes they pay out, then if that limit is ever reached, the winners get a lot less than they expected.