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Con Probe Focuses on Newcastle Blackjack Croupier

Oct 9, 2010

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A Newcastle blackjack croupier is being investigated for fraud.

Johnathan Cox was a licensed croupier, working at Aspers Casino in the Gate, in Newcastle. While casinos do occasionally lose money to players who know how to play blackjack, suspicion was raised when Cox’s tables lost large amounts of money on two occasions to two customers who seemed to have abilities transcending legitimate advanced blackjack strategies. First they “won” £18,000, and then later another £12,000. Looking for more than the accepted blackjack hand signals, The Gambling Commission has examined CCTV footage of Cox dealing cards for both blackjack and punto banco tables.

It is now believed that Cox was friends with the other two men, who were arrested and interrogated upon suspicion of conspiracy to defraud the casino. Cox, of Mount View, Swalwell, Gateshead is accused of somehow arranging the cards which were fed into Shuffle Star card-shuffling machine such that these players had probability on their side.

All three are currently enjoying bail while police continue to probe. The Gambling Commission is likely to be in the midst of their own investigation, but have declined to comment on this or any individual case.

Predictably, Cox has been temporarily relieved of his duties, pending the results of the investigation. Cox previously worked at Newcastle’s Grosvenor Casino and could not be contacted.

Both police and Asper’s Casino’s general manager Richard Smith, have made limited statements confirming that there was an “incident involving a member of staff, which has now been reported to police”, but neither currently offer additional incite into this ongoing investigation.

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