Scam Artist Glued Vouchers Together in Las Vegas Casino Con

Saturday, May 25th, 2019 | Written by April Bergman
Scam Artist Glued Vouchers Together in Las Vegas Casino Con

A year ago, a scam artist glued together vouchers to con the casino staff at SLS Las Vegas. Yisahk Betremariam glued two vouchers together and placed a fraudulent wager at the Las Vegas casino, but he is now in custody. The 37-year-old now faces charges of burglary and committing a fraudulent act in a gaming establishment.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board said that Betremariam placed a $500 free bet voucher on a craps table at SLS Las Vegas, on April 4, 2018. Once a floor supervisor inspected the voucher, the pit boss rejected it. According to the supervisor, the voucher was given to a friend of Betremariam in which he could not redeem it.

Roughly five hours later, Betremariam returned to the same craps table and bought in for $300. According to the reports, he tried once again to use his $500 voucher. This time, different casino staff accepted it.

Betremariam then won his next bet. He wagered on the dice one more time, then left the table.

Non-Valid Casino Voucher

It was later discovered, when a casino employee tried to enter the voucher into the system that it was not valid. On closer inspection, casino staff discovered that part of a voucher was for a free buffet with Betremariam’s name on it. The free buffer voucher was glued to the $500 free bet voucher, making it seem legitimate.

The story goes deeper than that. Yisahk Betremariam and a friend were known to SLS Las Vegas staff. Dealers had seen the two frequently at the casino attempting similar tricks. In fact, the security staff had flagged them as “shot takers” – cheaters who scam the casino out of money by “complaints or purposeful game errors.”

Yisahk Betremariam’s Confidence Games

Clark County authorities had arrested Yisahk Betremariam for several other incidents over the years. They charged him with first-degree burglary and grand larceny.

After the voucher incident, Clark County authorities issued an arrest warrant for Betremariam in August 2018. Police arrested him earlier this month.

The scam artist’s preliminary hearing is set for June 27 at the Reginal Justice Center.

Manipulating the Roulette Ball

Yisahk Betremariam is one in a long line of casino cheats. Back in 1973, a French roulette dealer, his sister, and her husband managed to steal 5 million francs (almost €900,000). The four used a radio transmitter to change the trajectory of the roulette ball, which was cutting edge technology at the time.

The group placed the transmitter in a cigarette pack and used it to control the roulette ball, which contained a miniature receiver. The scam required the help of the croupier, who introduced the wrong ball to the table. The plan fell apart after the sister caught the eye of the casino owner, who at first just thought she was attractive, but then quickly realized she was up to no good.

She was attractive, but in the wrong way.

Invisible Ink

In 2011, at Les Princes Casino in Cannes, four con artists won a total of €64,000. Once again, the four worked with an accomplice who was a casino employee. The employee marked the cards with invisible ink. One of the bettors wore special contact lenses that allowed him to see the invisible ink.

Casino staff discovered the scam when the group returned to the casino later that week, trying to hit the casino for more money.

Phil Ivey Edge Sorting Scheme

Edge sorting, which is quite similar card counting, the difference however, is instead keeping track of the denominations, the players notice imperfections on the cards that gives the rank of the card away.

Though used by many, Phil Ivey Jr., a professional poker player, is best known for edge sorting. He racked up a fortune doing this generating £7.3M at a Punto Banco table in Crockfords Casino in London (2012). Just two years later, Phil used the method again and won over nine million dollars at Borgata in Atlantic City. Crockfords suspected a trick and refused to pay, so Phil Ivey sued.

That tipped off Borgata, which then sued Phil Ivey for $10.1 million.

Sector Targeting – Casino Scams

In 2004, London Ritz casino a Hungarian woman and two Serbian men used an elaborate scheme called “sector targeting”. This a system was used to predict the landing place of the roulette ball. In the 2004 case, the players used a laser scanner in order to calculate the speed of the ball.

Before being detected, the three won £1.3M and were never charged since no rules against this system had been put in place yet.