Massachusetts Casinos Caught Taking Illegal Bets and Harassing Winners

Massachusetts regulators have launched an inquiry into illegitimate gambling activities at two casinos offering wagers on in-state collegiate basketball games. Last week, Encore Boston Harbor self-reported bets on a Boston College women’s basketball game and Plainridge Park Casino self-reported wagers on a Merrimack College men’s basketball game. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has announced an investigation into the illegal betting, although the exact amount wagered cannot be identified. Massachusetts prohibits betting on in-state colleges unless four or more teams are in a tournament.

In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a woman was tragically shot and killed on Sunday morning just after returning from a local casino. Carla Pina had apparently been celebrating her win at the gaming property with friends at her Darling Street residence. She was rushed to the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, but was ultimately declared dead. Natanihel San Martin, the alleged perpetrator and Pina’s boyfriend, was arrested at the scene and charged with open homicide, endangering the welfare of children, and recklessly endangering another person. San Martin had consumed almost an entire bottle of Hennessy cognac in the 15 minutes prior to the shooting, and a 9mm pistol was later seized in the residence. He is currently being held without bail in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility and is due to appear in court on February 22.

In Franklin, Indiana, a man was assaulted and robbed of $6K in casino winnings at the Horseshoe Casino in Shelbyville. Michael J. Brown, 58 of Indianapolis, had followed the victim back to his house, asking for water and directions before suddenly punching him in the back of the head and kicking him to the ground. Brown was arrested on Thursday and charged with robbery causing bodily injury.

A man from Sioux City, Iowa, pled guilty to two charges this month after attempting to have someone collect casino slot machine winnings for him. Dajo Alon Grandberry, 57, had won a jackpot at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Sioux City last August, but owing money to the state of Iowa, tried to have the other person claim the money. An investigation was launched by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and Grandberry entered his plea at Woodbury County District Court.