An Indiana man was arrested this week after he allegedly requested that someone else collect his slot machine jackpot at Blue Chip Casino. He wanted to avoid having the money go toward child support debt, authorities said.
The defendant, Billy J. Butler, initially won an unspecified amount of money while playing a table game at the Michigan City, Indiana gaming venue on April 20. But he owed some $48,000 in back child support, so the winnings went to his debt, WBND, an Indiana TV station, reported.
Later that same day, his luck continued. He won $1,340 on one of the casino’s over 1,900 slot machines. Rather than try to collect the money on his own, and have it also rerouted to pay for back child support, Butler allegedly asked a woman at the gaming venue to collect the money, WBND said.
An Indiana Gaming Commission police officer was alerted to the switch. The officer then questioned the woman.
She told the officer she was unaware what she was doing was a crime. She explained that Butler promised to pay her $200 for picking up the jackpot.
Later in the day, Butler admitted to the officer he asked the woman to collect the jackpot. He did not want the money from the slot machine to also go toward child support, he explained to the officer.
Police also reviewed surveillance video at the casino. It showed that Butler was the winner.
Late last month, Butler was charged with cheating at gaming, WBND said. On Tuesday, he was arrested by Mishawaka Police on a warrant for that crime. He was also arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and possession of cocaine, WBND said.
It is unclear if the woman was ever charged.
Blue Chip Casino is owned by Boyd Gaming. The venue is located about 59 miles east of Chicago.
The incident at Blue Chip Casino is not the only time a winner tried to avoid having money go to child support.
In 2020, a Gary, Indiana police officer allegedly tried to get someone else claim his slot machine win because he was behind on child support.
The Times of Northwest Indiana, a local newspaper, reported Sgt. Charles Lucas was charged with cheating at gaming. While at East Chicago, Indiana’s Ameristar Casino, he won $1,358 at a slot machine.
The amount did not go to Lucas. Some was deducted to pay for taxes and the rest went to back child support, authorities said.
But Lucas disputed he won the money. He claimed another player hit the jackpot.
Also, an arrest warrant in the case was “recalled” after a defense motion was filed, the Times reported. It is unclear how the case was eventually resolved.
During a routine check, Ameristar Casino employees discovered Lucas was behind by $6,676 on child support, the Times reported. Casino security guards also said surveillance video showed that Lucas won.
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