A former blackjack dealer and two players recently appeared in Buffalo, N.Y., court for alleged fraud at a gaming table. The incident took place last month at Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino.
Last week, Emily M. Torres, 20, of Lackawanna, N.Y., who worked as dealer at the tribal casino, and Mark M. Watson, Jr., 28, of Buffalo, both appeared before a judge. The two are charged with first-degree gaming fraud, WGRZ, a local TV station reported.
Late last month, Rahat Hossain, 34, also of Buffalo, also appeared in court. He was also charged with first-degree gaming fraud.
All three are scheduled to reappear in court next month. They were ordered to stay away from the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino and other Seneca gaming venues. If found guilty of the gaming fraud counts, they could face a year in jail.
The incident dates back to a two-and-a-half-hour playing spree on August 14 and 15 when Torres allegedly showed Hossain and Watson face cards before a final play, WGRZ said. Before leaving the table, Hossain and Watson won thousands of dollars, authorities said.
The incident was recorded on surveillance cameras, authorities said. Both players made restitution of the ill-gotten money. Watson repaid $5,287.50 and Hossain repaid $2,210.
Blackjack is one of 30 games played at the casino.
Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino is located in Buffalo’s inner harbor area. The casino is operated by Seneca Gaming Corporation (SGC). SGC is a tribally-chartered corporation of the Seneca Nation of Indians.
Statewide, it is unusual in New York to see arrests for gaming fraud, the Buffalo News, a local newspaper, reported. Between January 2017 and this past June, only four suspects were arrested for the charge, the state Division of Criminal Justice Services told the newspaper.
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