Lynnwood gambler suspected of cheating at cards in casinos

LYNNWOOD — An aerospace worker could face criminal charges on allegations that he’s a practiced card room cheat.

The 43-year-old Lynnwood man reportedly switched cards between his hands during games of Pai Gow, or double-hand poker, at casinos in Snohomish and King counties.

The alleged cheating took place between March and September 2016. The scheme netted more than $6,600, according to the state Gambling Commission.

Special agents with the commission arrested the man at his workplace in Arlington in December. He posted bail hours later.

The agents recently forwarded their investigation to Snohomish County prosecutors for review. The newspaper obtained the agents’ reports last week through a public records request. As of Friday, the man had not been charged.

He is suspected of 13 counts of second-degree cheating, which is a misdemeanor under state gambling laws. He also is accused of five counts of misdemeanor theft.

Locations included Crazy Moose Casino and Red Dragon Casino in Mountlake Terrace, Royal Casino and Great American Casino south of Everett, and Silver Dollar Casino near Mill Creek. Several of the casinos trained high-resolution surveillance cameras on the man while he played and provided the footage to investigators.

The man would wager for multiple sets of hands at once, which complicated the game play.

The videos showed that the man “furtively switched cards between each hand to improve one or both hands,” Special Agent Danny Lisa wrote in the report. “This gave him an unfair advantage over the card rooms.”

At the Royal Casino in March 2016, one dealer said she became suspicious when the man told her, “Don’t say anything,” in Vietnamese.

That prompted a review of the surveillance footage and led to the involvement of the authorities. Several of the casinos shared warnings with the man’s photograph and player information with one another last year.

Great American reported that he had switched cards while a dealer adjusted her chip tray.

Records from that casino showed he had played nearly 200 games of Fortune Pai Gow, a variation of the game, there since 2007. At the Silver Dollar in September, he reportedly left with $2,950 in uncashed chips after the dealer caught on and called his supervisor.

The man also was accused of cheating in Las Vegas last year, court papers show. Cheating at gambling generally is a misdemeanor unless it involves a conspiracy or a casino employee.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @rikkiking.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Construction continues at the site of the Lake Stevens Costco now slated to open Dec. 2. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)
Lake Stevens’ new Costco opening delayed till after Thanksgiving

The new warehouse opening was pushed back to Dec. 2. Meanwhile, it’s still under construction.

x
Pedestrian hit, hospitalized after crash on Highway 99 in Edmonds

The person was crossing the highway near 238th Street SW. The driver stayed and cooperated with officers, per Edmonds PD.

Cars drive along 76th Avenue West in front of Edmonds-Woodway High School on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds eyes speed cameras near three schools

Roads near Edmonds-Woodway High, Chase Lake Elementary and Westgate Elementary could get automated enforcement.

Shoppers walk in and out of Macy’s at Alderwood Mall were Black Friday deals are being advertised on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Go ahead, hit snooze: Most Black Friday deals are online

Braving the stores on Black Friday is still a thing, but more retailers are closed on Thanksgiving.

The Smith Ave homelessness camp Thursday afternoon in Everett on March 11, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Audit: Snohomish County lacks data-driven approach to homeless services

The Washington State Auditor’s Office this month published a 73-page report looking into four local governments across the state.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
New director named for county’s Department of Emergency Managment

After six years, Jason Biermann has stepped aside but will stay in Snohomish County. Lucia Schmit will move in from Seattle.

(Dutton)
Pulitzer winner’s new book digs into Snohomish County cold case killings

The Everett library will host a talk with Edward Humes on “The Forever Witness,” about a double murder and pioneering DNA evidence.

Lawmakers meet on the Senate floor, Thursday, March 10, 2022, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Washington lawmakers were wrapping up their work Thursday with final votes on a supplemental state budget and a transportation revenue package before planning to adjourn the legislative session. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Crime, climate, abortion on docket in legislative session warm-up

Washington lawmakers will hold 39 hearings this week. Nearly all will be conducted in person, which hasn’t happened in three years.

Detonators seized from Jeffrey Carlton's vehicle in Everett in May. (U.S. Attorney's Office)
Man caught with illegal explosives in Everett sentenced to time served

Jeffrey Carlton has had a lifelong interest in explosives. He pleaded guilty to unlawfully owning them.

Most Read