With the launch of live, state-operated casino gambling at the privately owned Twin River slot parlor in Lincoln, RI the State of Rhode Island also enacted some of the strictest and harshest table game cheating laws in the country. Anyone convicted of cheating at Twin River faces the possibility of up to 10 years in jail and a fine up to $100,000. These laws are so harsh that the Head of the Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union has declared them to be 10 times greater than Nevada's gaming laws.
Types of Casino Gaming Crimes
Casino gaming is defined very broadly by the Rhode Island Statutes and includes all table and casino-style games with cards, dice, or equipment for money. Those games include, but are not limited to, roulette, blackjack, big six, craps, poker, baccarat, paigow, as well as other games approved by the division of state lottery. See Rhode Island General Law Section 42-61.2-1(8)
While playing these casino games, there are many different types of complex techniques and strategies. While some of them may seem legal, the Rhode Island Gaming law outlaws many of these techniques. Broadly speaking, the law seeks to outlaw "cheating" which means altering the method of chance, method of selection, or criteria which impacts:
- The outcome of the game;
- The amount or frequency of payment in the game;
- The value of a wagering instrument;
- The value of a wagering credit.
Cheating Devices Are Prohibited
The Rhode Island Gaming law prohibits the use of "cheating devices" which are any physical, mechanical, electromechanical, electronic, photographic, or computerized device which is used in a manner as to cheat, deceive, or defraud a casino game. Some examples of these "cheating devices" include game cards or dice that have been tampered with, marked, or loaded. The Rhode Island Casino Gaming law penalizes the use, attempted use, or possession of a cheating device in a gaming facility. See Rhode Island General Law Section 42-61.3-2
Counterfeit Gaming Currency is Prohibited
Gaming facilities often have their own currency. It is against the Rhode Island Gaming Law to use, sell, or possess counterfeit coins, slugs, tokens, gaming chips, debit instruments, player rewards cards, or any counterfeit waging instruments resembling tokens or gaming chips. If found to be in possession of counterfeit gaming currency, an individual is subject to arrest and up to 10 years in jail.
Pinching and Capping Prohibited
One of the more common charges we see at Twin River is pinching or capping. Pinching is a technique whereby an individual removes his bet or a portion of his bet after the outcome of the game is known. Similarly, capping is adding on to the amount of a bet after the outcome of the game is known. The Rhode Island Gaming law describes these actions as placing, increasing, decreasing, canceling, or removing a wager with knowledge of the outcome of the table game.
Electronic Betting Assistance Prohibited
Unless you have been provided written consent from the director of the state lottery, it is unlawful to use, possess, or attempt to possess an electronic or mechanical device for the purpose of:
- Predicting the outcome of a casino game;
- Keeping track of the cards played;
- Analyzing and/or predicting the probability of an occurrence relating to the casino game, and/or;
- Analyzing and/or predicting the strategy for playing or wagering to be used in the casino game.
Penalties for Casino Gaming Crimes
As we indicated above, Rhode Island Casino Gaming penalties are some of the stiffest in the country. In fact, they are 10 times more severe than the similar laws in place in Nevada. For each of the crimes detailed above, if convicted an individual faces a potential jail sentence of up to 10 years and a potential fine of up to $100,000. Additionally, upon conviction the sentencing Judge may require full restitution for any monetary losses suffered. See Rhode Island General Law Section 42-61.3-2
Because Rhode Island's Gaming Laws are so relatively new, most judges and prosecutors do not have significant experience handling these types of offenses. This means that potential dispositions can vary widely, and the assistance of an experienced Twin River Casino Gaming Defense Attorney is critical.
How Can A Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Help With Twin River Casino Gaming Charges?
As an experienced Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney, we know the ins and outs of Rhode Island criminal procedure and sentencing. We have successfully handled Twin River Casino Gaming charges and we can put our expertise and skill to work defending your charges. We are available 24/7 to discuss your case and provide you with a no obligation evaluation of your Twin River Casino Gaming charges. You can reach us at 401-228-8271 or by email at [email protected]