Las Vegas Baccarat Dealer Arrested on Cheating Allegations

Gamblers Daily Digest -

Nevada authorities have executed an arrest of a former Las Vegas baccarat dealer on allegations of cheating and colluding with players at the Rampart Casino at the Resort in Summerlin. Yuxuan Leng, 28, was arrested on November 2nd after a months-long investigation by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB).

An affidavit submitted as evidence of arrest shows investigators with the NGCB received a report from a casino official in May 2022 alleging that Leng and a fellow baccarat dealer had been recorded cheating with players on several occasions at the Summerlin property.

According to jail records, numerous individuals were arrested and questioned by NGCB agents in relation to the investigation conducted last year. However, despite their efforts, they could not contact Leng, who was eventually arrested early last month.

The 28-year-old now faces multiple charges, including two counts of cheating and at least one order of conspiring or attempting to cheat at a casino game. Leng was released without requiring bail after the November 2nd arrest.

The Nevada gaming industry has witnessed an increase in fraudulent gambling activities, with the most recent being a scammer who stole over $1 million while impersonating the casino owner. The perpetrator, Erik Gutierrez Martinez, received a suspended sentence for a multi-million fraud ring that mainly targeted Circa Resort and Casino in Downtown Vegas, alongside Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite and Golden Nugget Casino in Laughlin.

Cheating Activity Detected and Reported in 2022

In May 2022, the gaming regulator was contacted by a representative from Rampart Casino at the Resort in Summerlin, who claimed that two baccarat dealers had engaged in cheating activities with players.

Court documents reveal that the casino staff met with NGCB investigators and informed them that two individuals who regularly play baccarat had been winning more frequently than usual. The two players, whose names were redacted in Leng’s charge sheet, had played baccarat at Rampart Casino for several years.

Upon reviewing hours of surveillance video, agents were able to detect subtle signals and gestures being exchanged between the dealer and players at certain points during games. More specifically, the casino surveillance video caught Leng and another baccarat dealer exposing gaming cards to players on six occasions before gameplay ended in May 2022.

The Baccarat gameplay strategy requires that the bettors place their bets either with the Banker’s Hand, the Player’s Hand, or a tie. Investigators noted that when the dealers showed the cards to the players, it gave them knowledge of the game and its potential outcome. 

As a result, the players would then place their bets, already knowing the game’s result. During the course of the six occasions, each of the two players ended with winnings exceeding $5,000.

On two other occasions, Leng purportedly exposed gaming cards to the players prior to placing their final wagers. She would briefly display the banker hand, player hand, or both, allowing the players to determine the outcome of the game beforehand.

Two Players and Another Baccarat Dealer Also Charged in the Case

The casino’s security personnel located and interrogated the two players as part of their ongoing investigation. One player confessed to asking the baccarat dealers to show the cards during the game to gain an advantage. At the same time, the other bettor vehemently denied any involvement in the alleged cheating.

The other baccarat dealer, whose identity was redacted from the court documents, informed NGCB investigators he was fast at dealing cards but admitted to being careless. He told the agents he didn’t receive any money from the players. However, he was later arrested by the NGCB investigators for the alleged cheating at Rampart Casino.

At the time, investigators from the regulator were unable to communicate with Leng and consequently issued an arrest warrant against her. The charges preferred against her included cheating and attempting or conspiring to cheat at a gambling game.

Rampart Casino Lost More than $12,000 to the Cheating Scandal

Leng was arrested in early November after investigations were concluded more than a year after the alleged cheating. The arrest records show that she showed the gaming cards to two players before they placed their wagers, confirming further a study cited by Forbes Magazine that indicates over 25% of gambling fraud cases involve casino employees.

The cheating moves by Leng, and fellow baccarat dealer granted the two players an unfair advantage and enabled them to secure winning bets. The NGCB revealed that the players in question made $12,400 in unfair winnings, causing significant losses for Rampart Casino while Leng was dealing.

Court records related to Leng’s arrest affidavit and case are currently sealed as the investigation remains ongoing. At this time, authorities have declined to release further identifying information about the two complicit players who face the same charges. All individuals arrested have been released pending prosecution.

Nevada Casinos Require Rigorous Security Updates

The Rampart Casino incident raises concerns about potential vulnerabilities in casino security protocols. While the NGCB’s swift action is commendable, it also underscores the need for casinos to continuously review and strengthen their internal controls to prevent future instances of cheating and collusion.

The news of Leng’s arrest comes after two major gaming operators, Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International, were hit with a series of lawsuits following a cyberattack in September. According to a Reuters report, MGM Resorts will suffer a hit of more than $100 million in its Q3 results due to the data breach that caused shutdowns at several of its Las Vegas and Atlantic City properties.

Wrapping Up: The Aftermath and Potential Legal Ramifications

The NGCB, renowned for its strict regulations and a zero-tolerance approach to casino impropriety, launched the investigation following reports of unusual winning streaks among certain baccarat players. Leng and the other individuals involved face serious legal repercussions if convicted. The charges against them carry significant penalties, including fines, imprisonment, and potentially lifetime bans from all Nevada casinos.

Author: Bryan Cook