Roulette Cheats Caught at the Sands Bethlehem Casino over Fourth of July Weekend

An alleged roulette cheat was arrested at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem early on Monday morning. The player is accused of trying to cover up $2,000 in bets, which caused the casino to call the Pennsylvania State Police.

The man appears to have been a one-man scam operation, which is not common for most roulette cheats. The alleged cheat attempted to use sleight-of-hand to gain an advantage.

Lalit Taneja

A local newspaper called The Morning reported that Lalit Taneja, a resident of New Hyde Park, New York, was making multiple wagers each hand at a roulette table around 2 o’clock in the morning on Monday.

The 40-year old man is accused of placing 4 purple chips and 2 red chips ($2,010) on a thirds bet (25-36). While he made bets elsewhere on the table, he is accused of covering the 25-36 bet with his hand. When the ball landed in the 00 slot, Taneja removed his wagers from the 25-36 part of the felt.

Pit Boss Noticed Suspicious Play

A pit boss supervising play saw the move. He ordered a video review, to determine whether cheating had occurred. This confirmed the supervisor’s suspicions, at which point Lalit Taneja repaid the casino what he owed it.

Despite the payment of his debts, the casino had him arrested, as is the policy. Lalit Taneja now faces a stiff fine and inclusion on the list of casino cheats, if he is convicted. He’s set to go through preliminary hearings.

Cheating at Roulette

While Lalit Taneja’s alleged attempts seem crude, one imagines how he ever would have imagined he could get away with it. Sleight-of-hand and tophatting are some of the most effective ways to cheat. This is best done with fewer players at the table. Also, it helps to have an accomplice to distract inexperienced dealers, or with dealer in on the scam. Lalit Taneja had none of those advantages, which helps to explain his failure.

Gamblers have tried to cheat since the first bet was made. Casino cheats have been known for centuries. A few have gotten famous for their careers as slots cheats, while a few have had 20-year careers cheating casinos at roulette. As the old saying goes, though, the best cheats are the unknown ones, because they never get caught.

Four Roulette Cheats on Saturday

Cheating happens more often than people think, and casinos train staff to spot such activity. On July 2, four roulette players from the Bronx were arrested for trying to switch $1 chips for $25 chips. Javier Troncoso-Sanchez, Fernando Vasquez-Vittini, and Erit Cabrera bought a number of $1 chips, then handed them to Jose Manuel Beato, a 37-year old man from Clinton, New Jersey.

Once he had the chips, Jose Manuel Beato tried to surreptitiously swap one set of chips for the more expensive ones. Once casino security intervened, the four men tried to flee the scene. They were captured and remanded to Northampton County Prison.

Bail Set for the Cheaters

Troncoso-Sanchez, Vasquez-Vittini, and Cabrera had their bail set at $5,000 apiece. Mr. Beato, because he had a previous conviction for cheating, had his bail set at $10,000.

It is likely no coincidence that two sets of cheaters struck the Sands Bethlehem over the holiday weekend. With more people in the casino during a busy holiday weekend, dealers, pit bosses, and staff in the security booth had more players to watch. Given the crowds and confusion of the holiday, the cheaters likely thought they would have a better chance of succeeding.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on BestOnlineCasinos.com, USPokerSites.com, and LegalUSPokerSites.com

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