A man was arrested on 63 felonies Tuesday for allegedly using stolen reward cards at Pennsylvania’s Wind Creek Bethlehem Casino. He used them to win over $1,600 on slot machines, state police said.
The unnamed 35-year-old Pottsville, Pa. man stole the reward cards from 26 or more victims, police add. They had $2,588 in free play credits, LehighValleyLive.com, a regional news site, reported.
The charges against him include theft, identity theft, and access device fraud, the report adds.
The incident which led to the man’s arrest took place on Jan. 5. The man was suspected of using someone else’s reward card on a slot machine. He also was checking online about the player.
Police Searched Suspect
At first, the man told authorities he did not possess any reward cards, the report said. But police searched him and found 11 player cards in his jacket. They belonged to other people.
Police checked his activities at the casino between Jan. 3 and 5. He allegedly used cards from other players 147 times. He also checked balances 205 times, the report said. Also, 44 times he downloaded free play.
To use the cards, players need to know a PIN. So, much of the time, he was unable to figure out what the access code was, police said. But in some cases, by checking online information he was able to figure out what numbers people used for their PINs.
It is possible some of the PINs may have been birth dates, street numbers, etc. Some of the cards were discarded by the players at the casino and the suspect picked them up, police said.
For those who lost money, the casino reimbursed them. The man is scheduled to appear in local court in August.
Prior Reward Card Theft
This is not the first time someone allegedly used stolen reward cards. In 2017, a Joliet, Ill. woman stole between $500 and $10,000 worth of reward points from Illinois’ Harrah’s Joliet Casino. She allegedly used the information to get food from a casino restaurant called Ace’s Diner.
Ana Morales-Hernandez, 43, later was charged with two counts of theft and a single court of identity theft, Patch, a local publication, reported. It was unclear how the case was eventually resolved.
The stealing of points or forms of personal information has been an issue at gaming venues for at least a decade. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has investigated several cases in the state. They often related to players’ club points.
Casinos must keep customer databases secure, the report said. But overall, casinos are known for the more extensive efforts for keeping information private, compared to businesses in some other sectors, the Review-Journal reported.
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