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HOME News Three Indicted over Baccarat Cheating Incident at Boston Area Casino March 8, 2021, 9:34 am Three people have recently been indicted in relation to a baccarat cheating incident at Encore Boston Harbor, one of two full-scale casino resorts operating on the territory of Massachusetts. In card games like blackjack, gamblers have the choice of getting more cards or not. In baccarat, the rules of the game require players to draw a third card under certain game conditions. This helps cheaters if they know the order of cards in the deck due to dealer shuffling manipulation.
The Encore Boston Harbor in Massachusetts is dealing with two issues this week, one involving a cheating scheme and the other, a stabbing on-site. The negative press is not helping the casino as it works to gain ground after losing revenues during 2020 as the pandemic began.
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Let’s start with the baccarat cheating scheme. A card dealer and two other individuals have been accused of cheating the casino via baccarat games. The individuals were indicted this week for obtaining $23,500 in illegal winnings from two nights of gameplay.
The former dealer, Jianming Li and Jun Zhang worked together to create the plan. Zhang is a former dealer at a Maryland casino. Li would deal cards exposed and then memorize them and mark them with another card. He would then use a cell phone to alert Zhang to which cards were involved in the game and the order.
The men were able to use the information to win hands, which resulted in the winnings. Once caught, the men were indicted on charges of cheating based on the gaming act. They also face conspiracy charges and larceny based on a single scheme. A third suspect in the case, De Lin, was charged with cheating under the gaming act as well as conspiracy.
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As much as five years in prison and fines may be issued based on the sentencing handed down by the judge in this case.
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Along with the cheating incident, the Encore is also dealing with a stabbing incident. This week, two individuals were indicted for being involved in an assault involving a man at the casino. James Johnson and David Guante have been indicted on assault and battery.
The men got into a dispute with a third person in the casino near the cashier. Hearts solitaire classic. Johnson is said to have hit the victim in the face. Guante also jumped in and is reportedly the one who stabbed the victim. He was hit in the abdomen.
If the two suspects are convicted, they could face up to two years in prison along with a fine. The incident was a scary one and affected the patrons at the venue as well as employees as it occurred.
Protecting the Casino and Patrons
Incidents such as this showcase the need for quality casino security. Every casino has security in place, from individuals on the gaming floor to surveillance cameras. When cheating incidents or acts of violence occur, the casino can use the footage from the cameras or witness information to provide insight to police or gaming regulators.
Casinos are often top picks for criminals as they are home to tens of thousands of dollars in cash and unsuspecting pray. Mix in alcohol and you have fights breaking out or verbal assaults. It is not uncommon for security to break up a fight every now and then, though most do not end in a stabbing as the one at the Encore.
Casinos strive to offer a safe environment for players and work hard to ensure that games are fair. Instances like the ones at the Encore do happen, but not on a regular basis. With a quality security team involved, even if such occurrences take place, there are people onsite and technology that can be used to press charges against those involved.
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The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office said five people were indicted in two separate incidents that occurred at Encore Boston Harbor including a cheating scheme involving baccarat and a stabbing at the casino.
The indictments were announced Friday.
The cheating scheme involved an Encore casino dealer, a former casino dealer from Maryland, and a third individual from Philadelphia who were able to steal roughly $23,500 over two nights, authorities said.
The second incident, a stabbing at the Everett casino in August, resulted in indictments against a Framingham man and a Natick man.
Authorities said Jianming Li, 53, of Delaware, and Jun Zhang, 41, of New York, were indicted on charges of cheating under the Gaming Act (two counts each), conspiracy (two counts each), and larceny by a single scheme (one count each). Li was also charged with making false statements to the Gaming Commission.
De Lin, 46, of Philadelphia, was indicted on charges of cheating under the Gaming Act and conspiracy.
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Authorities allege that Li, an Encore Boston Harbor casino dealer, colluded with Zhang, a former Maryland casino dealer, and Lin in a cheating scheme in the game of baccarat that netted them a total of $23,500 over two nights.
“It is alleged that while he was dealing the cards, Li exposed a series of playing cards, memorized them, marked them with a ‘bookmark’ card, then used his cell phone to communicate the cards and their order to Zhang, when both excused themselves to use separate bathrooms,” Attorney General Maura Healey’s office said.
In the unrelated stabbing that occurred in August, the grand jury handed up indictments against David Guante, 30, of Natick, and James Johnson, 30, of Framingham.
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Guante is facing a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon while Johnson faces a charge of assault and battery.
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“According to an investigation by the Massachusetts State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit at Encore Boston Harbor, Guante and Johnson became involved in a dispute with another casino patron by the casino cashier,” authorities said. “This dispute resulted in Johnson striking the alleged victim in the face. Guante and the victim, then engaged in a fight, during which Guante allegedly stabbed the victim once in his abdomen.”
All of the defendants will be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court at a later date.