Ex-Iowa Casino Dealer Fined Must Make $11K Restitution for Repeated Cheating

In the busy world of casinos, where excitement and entertainment collide, casino workers play a critical role in ensuring smooth operations and a pleasant experience for clients. However, behind the glitz and glamour, there’s a strict set of rules governing the conduct of these employees. 

While there are overarching principles governing casino worker conduct, specific regulations usually vary from one state to another. Each state’s gaming commission or regulatory body creates its own set of rules and guidelines tailored to local laws and industry standards. 

For example, the requirements for obtaining a gaming license, background checks, and ongoing training programs tend to differ greatly between states. One of the most visible aspects of casino employee conduct regulations, however, is adherence to uniform standards. 

From dealers to waitstaff, casino employees are often required to dress in a specific manner consistent with the casino’s branding and image. This includes guidelines on attire, grooming, and overall presentation to maintain a professional appearance on the gaming floor.

Ethical conduct is also crucial in the casino industry. Employees are expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity and honesty in their interactions with customers and colleagues alike. This involves abstaining from engaging in any form of cheating, collusion, or fraudulent behavior that could compromise the integrity of the games or tarnish the casino’s reputation.

Providing excellent customer service is also the foundation of casino worker conduct. Employees are trained to be courteous, helpful, and attentive to patrons’ needs, whether it’s assisting with game rules, addressing concerns, or delivering food and beverage orders on time. Building positive rapport with customers improves their overall experience and encourages repeat visits to the casino.

Consequences of breaking casino rules: cautionary tales

Casino employees are held accountable for failing to follow regulations, with violations carrying various consequences depending on the severity of the violation. Minor infractions, such as uniform violations or minor customer service issues, may result in verbal warnings or written reprimands. 

Sometimes employees are temporarily removed from duty as a disciplinary measure. A temporary suspension is usually accompanied by a review of the employee’s conduct. A permanent dismissal from employment can also be given due to serious violations or repeated infractions that warrant immediate action.

However, more serious offenses, such as theft, fraud, or unethical behavior, can lead to immediate termination of employment and, in some cases, legal repercussions. In cases involving criminal behavior, such as theft or fraud, employees may face legal prosecution and potential fines or imprisonment.

A former card dealer at Iowa’s Catfish Bend Casino recently found out just how severe the consequences of violating the rules can be. McCannon had been hired at the casino in February 2023 and underwent over a month of training before starting work as a card dealer. During his employment, he dealt with various table games, including blackjack, free bet blackjack, Mississippi Stud, Four Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, and Pai Gow.

The former employee was accused of unlawfully adding credits to new players’ club cards and then distributing these cards to friends.  As mentioned above, such actions are strictly forbidden in the casino industry, where fairness and integrity are supreme. Fortunately, law enforcement took swift action upon discovering the alleged misconduct. 

The former card dealer was arrested not long after, stressing the gravity of the situation. Officials obtained a warrant and seized McCannon’s cell phone, uncovering Facebook messages exchanged with a player at the casino. 

In these messages, McCannon requested financial assistance in exchange for promises of repayment during their casino visit. Transactions via CashApp further validated these exchanges.

A judge approved a warrant for McCannon’s arrest, and he was later charged with stealing $11,185 from the casino. The former card dealer at Iowa’s Catfish Bend Casino received a sentence that includes five years of probation for his involvement in a cheating scheme with seven players. 

Instead of prison time, McCannon must pay a $1,025 fine and reimburse the casino $11,185. Additionally, he is responsible for court costs. District Eight Judge Shane Wiley handed down this sentence.

If McCannon fails to fulfill the requirements of his probation, he could face imprisonment or additional fines. He is also required to regularly report to judicial staff to confirm his compliance with the judge’s conditions.

McCannon initially faced eight charges, including three counts of second-degree theft, two counts of third-degree theft, and three counts of fourth-degree theft. At first, he pleaded not guilty to these charges. However, on January 8, McCannon changed his plea to guilty for one count of second-degree theft as part of a plea deal.

It’s unclear whether the seven players allegedly involved in the cheating scheme will face charges or are under investigation. However, the decision to charge them would depend on various factors.

If there is evidence that they were actively participating in the scheme or were aware of it and benefited from it, they could potentially face charges. However, if they were unwittingly involved or were victims themselves, charging them might not be appropriate. 

Authorities would need to investigate each player’s level of involvement and culpability before determining whether charges are warranted. Ultimately, the decision to charge the customers would depend on the evidence gathered during the investigation and the discretion of law enforcement and legal authorities.

It’s concerning to see an increase in incidents of employee misconduct, particularly in industries like casinos where trust and integrity are paramount. These incidents not only harm the reputation of the establishment but also undermine the trust of customers and stakeholders.

To address this issue, casinos, and other employers must prioritize strong hiring processes, thorough background checks, and ongoing training and monitoring of employees. Additionally, implementing strict protocols and surveillance measures can help detect and prevent misconduct before it escalates.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the casino industry operates under a strict framework of conduct regulations to ensure fairness, integrity, and professionalism in all aspects of operations. While rules may vary across states, adherence to ethical behavior, customer service excellence, and uniform standards remain fundamental for casino workers. 

Violations of these rules can result in a range of punishments, highlighting the importance of upholding high standards of conduct in this dynamic industry.

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