Investigation of Casino Fraud Uncovers Online Blackjack Scheme Resulting in Arrest of Cheating Dealer

This week, a shuffler employed by Evolution Gaming was arrested for allegedly defrauding the company of $47,000 through a blackjack scam on the DraftKings platform. Sebastian Echeverri, 23, of Norwalk, Connecticut, is believed to have used three personal accounts to place bets on decks he had memorized or manipulated. According to the Connecticut Post newspaper, he is suspected of tampering with cards during “at least 26 different games,” and admitted to the allegations when he turned himself into State Police. He was released after posting a $50,000 bond, and is due to appear in Bridgeport Superior Court on April 20.

Evolution Gaming hosts online casino games on the DraftKings and FanDuel platforms. The scheme was uncovered due to a suspicious DraftKings account accessed from the same device used to log into Evolution’s employee portals, and abnormally high amounts wagered in the games. Surveillance footage also showed Echeverri examining the sequence of cards before betting.

In other news, Penn Entertainment was fined $45,000 by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) after five players on the self-exclusion list were allowed to place online bets on the casino’s online Barstool Sportsbook.

In Oregon, Gary D. Danielson, 32, of Coos Bay, was arrested for bringing a gun to the Mill Casino. Coos County Sheriff’s Office officers, who were at a routine meeting at the casino, spotted his suspicious behavior and found a 9 mm handgun. He was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and booked at the Coos County Jail.

In Philadelphia, a little girl was found alone in a locked car outside of Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia. An unnamed man was charged for leaving her there, though it is not clear how long she was in the car, nor whether he was a parent or not.

Finally, Shamar Turner of Detroit, Michigan was arrested after a tribal police drug raid on his room at North Dakota’s Sky Dancer Casino & Resort. Reportedly, officials found hundreds of fentanyl pills, suspected marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and $1,870 in cash inside the room. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Edward Butler, 45, of Pensacola, Florida was arrested Tuesday in connection with the armed robbery of a casino winner in December. Butler allegedly crashed into a car in front of him, opened a passenger door and pointed a gun at the elderly man, threatening to kill him if he didn’t hand over his money. After seeing the gun, the victim tried to pull out his own firearm, but Butler was able to wrestle it away from him and stole the money and a credit card. Butler was charged with battery, aggravated assault (victim over 65), larceny, grand theft of a firearm, robbery with a firearm, and fraud. He was booked at the Escambia County Jail and had bail set at $117,500.