Over a time frame of two years, four men were able to take down over $1 million from the craps tables at the Bellagio Casino, defeating major odds of 452 billion to one. According to Zachary Levine, a statistician for MGM, these figures were determined after the suspicious play of two of the high rollers was observed. The two men in question, Anthony G. Granito and Jeffrey D. Martin, were able to win a ton of cash with a hop bet (calling out a number as the dice are thrown). According to the statistician, the period of time that the play was conducted, there is no practical way the men were playing a fair game of chance.
Both men were seen playing the craps tables on video surveillance footage, with Levine testifying in court on the matter, in front of a grand jury. The Gaming Control Board has had agents looking at the game play and trying to determine if the dealers of the gaming tables were throwing the game to the players who just so happen to be their friends.
Bail has been set in this case, with former dealer Mark M. Branco, considered the leader of the alleged scheme, receiving a $160,000 bail level while his brother-in-law, Martin had bail set at $125,000. Martin was allowed out of jail with time to come up with the bail money.
Granito was subject to chest pains last week once he learned that he faced 60 counts in his indictment and was in the hospital undergoing a triple bypass during the hearing yesterday. James R. Cooper Jr, another dealer who used to work at the Bellagio, is cooperating and is believed to be pleading guilty tomorrow.
During certain time frames from July 2012 to July of 2014, Cooper and Branco are alleged to have conspired with Martin and Granito to pay off bets that never took place, according to J.P. Raman, the Chief Deputy District Attorney. According to the prosecutor, there had to be select times that the game play could take place since the craps table is always crowded with dealers, a floor person and stickman.
According to the charges, Martin and Granito would play bets but would hops wager as the dice were thrown. Cooper or Branco, the acting dealer, would pay them as if they had placed the wager. It was last year that another dealer noticed the behavior of the men and informed the management team of the Bellagio. It was Cooper who told authorities that the scam had been taking place for two years now.