New Jersey casino cheat sentenced to 17 years in prison

Reuters

By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rolling snake eyes is now the least of Derek Bethea’s concerns.

Bethea, a 57-year-old New Jersey man, is headed to prison for 17 years for placing bets at craps tables after the dice had already been rolled at three Atlantic City casinos during a two-week period last August.

The sentence, imposed on Thursday by Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Donna Taylor, came after a jury convicted him in May on charges of swindling and cheating at casino gambling, according to state authorities. Bethea represented himself at trial.

Prosecutors accused Bethea of betting $1,100 at a craps table at the Borgata Hotel & Casino on Aug. 13, 2013, after the dice had come out. He collected the winnings but was detained at a different casino the following day and issued a summons.

Two weeks later, he tried again, placing a late $505 bet at Resorts Hotel & Casino, and the following day, he laid down $240 at Revel Casino, prosecutors said.

In each instance, the gamble failed to pay off, as the casinos refused to honor the bet.

Bethea was previously convicted in 2001 and in 2005 of similar offenses, including placing late bets at roulette tables, and was sentenced to several years in each case.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Jim Loney)

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