Three Men Arrested in ‘Jackpot Switch’ Scheme at Bally’s Evansville

Land Based Casinos Crime
Edward Scimia

Updated by Edward Scimia

Journalist

Last Updated 18th Jun 2024, 12:02 PM

Three Men Arrested in ‘Jackpot Switch’ Scheme at Bally’s Evansville

The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) says that three men were arrested in connection with a scheme to switch the winner of jackpot prizes at Bally’s Evansville Casino & Hotel in order to get around a self-exclusion list at the venue.

According to an affidavit, Shinvar Abdullatif won multiple jackpots in the same night in April but would immediately leave his seat in order to avoid being detected as the winner, according to WEVV 44 News.

Scheme Aimed to Get Around Self-Exclusion

IGC agents allege that they first discovered that Abdullatif had hit a jackpot on a slot machine, only for another man, Delavan Mohammed, to take his place and attempt to claim the prize. After looking back at the rest of the evening, agents say they saw four previous switches take place: three more with the same man, and another with a third suspect, Ali Mohamad.

Each time, authorities claim that Abdullatif was seen immediately leaving the area or switching seats with another individual in order to allow someone else to claim the prizes.

While it would be unusual for someone to voluntarily give up a large win, the IGC says that Abdullatif had good reason to do so. 

According to the affidavit related to the case, Abdullatif was self-excluded from Bally’s, meaning he voluntarily requested to be barred from entering the casino or gaming there for at least one year. As such, he would be ineligible to play any of the casino’s games, let alone win prizes on them.

All three men were arrested and booked at Vanderburgh County Jail for gambling violations, and have since been released. All three hail from Nashville.

Bally’s, Casino Industry Victimized by Thefts in 2023

This isn’t the first scheme pulled against Bally’s Evansville in the past year. Last December, the Evansville Police Department revealed that more than $212,000 had been stolen from the casino after a construction vendor’s email was compromised, leading payments to be sent to a fraudulent bank account.

That was part of a series of various schemes that hit casinos last year, in which several casino employees were fooled into making payments to individuals supposedly working for the casinos. That includes $500,000 stolen from Monarch Casino Resort and Spa in Colorado, as well as a $700,000 theft at Four Winds Casino in Michigan.

Formerly known as the Tropicana Evansville Casino, Bally’s took over what is now Bally’s Evansville Casino & Hotel after agreeing to purchase the facility from Caesars in October 2020. Bally’s purchased the property for $140 million.

Bally’s is currently in the midst of a potential takeover by chairman Soo Kim, one that some major investors in the company have opposed. The company’s significant debt load—$3.6 billion at the end of 2023—is a major concern for Bally’s, though the company says it is still committed to major projects like building a permanent casino in Chicago.

Meet The Author

16 Years
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Edward Scimia
Edward Scimia
Journalist Journalist

Ed Scimia is a freelance writer who has been covering the gaming industry since 2008. He graduated from Syracuse University in 2003 with degrees in Magazine Journalism and Political Science. In his time as a freelancer, Ed has worked for About.com, Gambling.com, and Covers.com, among other sites. He has also authored multiple books and enjoys curling competitively, which has led to him creating curling-related content for his YouTube channel "Chess on Ice."

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