The Loop

Is the blackjack dealer charged with helping gamblers cheat actually a hero?

March 08, 2019

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A blackjack dealer has been charged with helping gamblers cheat, and it raises an interesting ethical question: Is he actually a hero?

Kidding. Sort of.

This case actually hits close to home for me. Literally. The now ex-dealer's alleged crimes took place at Connecticut's Mohegan Sun, a frequent haunt for me when it was just a dangerously short 75-minute drive from my apartment in Stamford. You could hop in the car with a couple of buddies after dinner, scoot on up there for a couple hours, and turn around and come home. And often we did just that after quickly being cleaned out. At the blackjack tables.

Blackjack really is the devil. Even playing at the $10 tables, you can go through $200 before a cocktail waitress brings you one "free" drink. See that photo above? That never happens. And when you do get a great hand, the dealer always matches or beats you, even if he has to pull a 5 after hitting on 16. I'm getting the sweats just thinking about it. . .

Anyway, allegedly, a (brave?) man named David C. Peters decided to help a couple gamblers (and himself) beat the house. The Day reports Peters, 49, and two co-conspirators made off with $61,175 from Mohegan Sun last fall.

How did they do it? Every way you could imagine, according to tribal police. Peters let the gamblers increase their bets after the allowed time had passed, he paid off hands that tied or lost, and he even burned cards that would have busted hands. Incredibly, the casino only started investigating after one gambler made nearly $34,000 and refused to give his name when casino employees asked, raising a red flag.

The investigation is ongoing, but Peters has been charged with first-degree larceny, third-degree larceny, and cheating. And he deserves whatever punishment he winds up getting. I think. . .