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Four Men Charged With Bellagio Craps Scheme

Four men were charged in a Las Vegas courtroom this week of orchestrating a craps scheme at the Bellagio hotel and casino where they bilked the house out of more than $1 million over the course of two years.

Anthony G. Granito and Jeffrey D. Martin were charged with the crime, wherein they exploited a flaw in the craps game layout allowing corrupt dealers Mark Branco and James Cooper to help faciliate the scheme. The two players were placing hop bets on the game, which pays out at a rate of 5:1 but made the bets as a verbal wager when the dice was in the air. The corrupt dealers would claim to hear the wager and then pay out the bet if it hit, which it would every time (defying the odds of 452 billion to 1).

The scheme actually was successful for two years and Granito played 1,624 rounds and wagered $7.1 million collectively, winning a profit of $498,500. Martin played 2,295 rounds, wagering $5.1 million and winnings $587,900. The defendants were caught when a suspicious dealer reported his findings to casino management, who then conducted an investigation on their own.

Commenting on the crime MGM statistician Zachary Levine said, "Their play over that period was so out of line with the mathematics that it's practically no way they could have been playing a fair game of chance. We have some very extreme high-end play at the Bellagio that can result in pretty wild swings, and we have some winners, so we're not saying that winning is impossible, just nobody, even bigger bettors, won to this level."

Casino Listings will update this story as more developments arise.

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