The 63 year old player was playing a game of Reef Routine at the Reef Hotel Casino earlier this month on November 18 when he was caught cheating by casino staff. The game in question allows players to compete with the dealer to get the best possible poker hand, but does not involve bluffing or a flop element.
According to Australian media reports, security staff at the hotel casino were quick to notice the scam when they reviewed the video footage of the night in question. When the player returned to the casino, he was escorted from the premises immediately, whereupon staff informed local police of his actions.
Capping Banned Under Aussie Law
The technique used by the player – ‘capping’ – is short for ‘capping a bet’. This is a form of cheating in which a player adds extra chips to their original bet after the game’s outcome has been revealed. The technique requires considerable sleight of hand, and typically involves slipping a high value chip into the bet after the cards have been revealed.
Often, this valuable chip will be hidden in a player’s hand or beneath their poker cards, and will be slipped into the pile of chips on the table without the game’s dealer noticing it. It is no surprise that capping is illegal in most gambling-friendly countries around the world, and in Australia, the technique falls under the Casino Control Act’s provisions.
Player Could Face 2-Year Sentence
The player, who allegedly won an additional AUS$100 through his scam, has been formally charged with ‘cheating by fraudulent trick’. He will appear before the Cairns Magistrates Court on December 12 for his hearing. The footage incriminating the man has also been seized by local police officers.
If he is convicted, the player could face a prison sentence of up to two years for his actions. Sen-Constable Carl Erhardt of the Cairns Criminal Investigation Branch has noted that this sort of case is quite rare, but did however warn all local players that casinos have strict surveillance policies to help them identify scams and apprehend perpetrators.