Crazy Gambling Stories from December

Crazy Gambling Stories From December

From Gambling Bank Manager To Crazy Bluff By Miss Finland
by Brian Pempus
The gambling world can sometimes produce really off-the-wall stories. Every month there are plenty of cases of individuals going to extreme lengths to pay back
debts, or of simply bizarre behavior at casino properties around the globe. It can be entertaining and sometimes sad.

December was no exception, as there was plenty that happened in the casino world.

Here’s a look at some of the most colorful and noteworthy from the month that was.

North Carolina Illegal Gambling Investigation Could Top $20M

Authorities in North Carolina say they have busted a $20-million gambling ring that stretched across the eastern part of the state, according to reporting from The raids began in May and now seizures have reached that massive sum, police said.

Nearly 200 store and restaurant owners from more than 40 towns, including Raleigh, Rocky Mount and Roanoke Rapids, have been caught in the middle of the federal
investigation and had their businesses raided by agents in the past several months.

Iranian Hackers Attacked Adelson’s Casinos

Early this year, billionaire Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson saw his company fall victim to a cyber attack. Months later, there is evidence that it came
from Iran, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. Adelson has a net worth of $27.4 billion and is the 22nd-wealthiest person in the world. His is a mega-donor for the
Republican party and even opposes online gambling, including I-poker. Adelson in 2013 said publicly that the United States should nuke unoccupied land in Iran
over the latter country’s nuclear weapons pursuits.

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Gambling Addicted Bank Manager Gets Prison For Stealing From Elderly

Former bank manager Tiffany K. Look was visibly distraught even before a federal judge walked into the courtroom this month. She had reason to be. Moments
later, U.S. Middle District Judge John E. Jones III sentenced Look, 40, of Harrisburg, to two years in federal prison for stealing nearly $140,000 from elderly
customers. Look’s lawyer, A. Mark Winter, said she committed the crimes while in the grip of a gambling addiction.

Professional Footballer Skips Game For Poker Tournament, Has Contract Canceled

Star football player Albert Riera reportedly had his contract voided after he skipped a game to play a poker tournament, according to a report from the Mirror.
Riera, a Spaniard, was a remember of the Italian club Udinese. His contract was for £8m. The 32-year-old was supposed to play in a game against Chievo in a
Serie A match, but instead opted to play a poker tournament in Solvenia. He reportedly won £3,000 in the poker game.

Man Pleads Guilty To Manslaughter In Poker Tournament

A Massachusetts man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter after “sucker punching” a person who he mistakenly thought had insulted his girlfriend. According to a
report from, James Walsh, 41, admitted to striking 45-year-old Daniel McDonald on the night of Mar. 16, 2012. It was during a poker event at the
Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in Southbridge. McDonald died eight days later from his skull and brain injuries.

Online Poker Film Angers Costa Rican Government

According to a report from, the crime film involving online poker, Runner, Runner, which starred Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, has not
made officials in Costa Rica too happy. The film was based in the country. The film, the report said, depicts Costa Rica “as a haven for gamblers and drug
addicts, a den of prostitution and the home of corrupt police and security officials.”

Miss Finland Sara Chafak Runs Crazy Bluff On Ronnie Bardah

Finnish poker players have garnered an international reputation for aggression, and it seems that tendency applies even to their beauty pageant winners. In the
video she played an entertaining hand against poker pro Ronnie Bardah, putting the man who has cashed in five consecutive WSOP main events to a huge decision on
the first hand of the show.

Principal Gambled Away $10K Stolen From School

A Bridgeport elementary school principal has been fired and arrested after stealing $10,000 from a school fundraising account and spending the money at casinos,
according to police. Online court records show that Dunbar School principal Marilyn Taylor, 46, of Milford, was arrested and charged with first-degree larceny.
Police said Taylor was placed on administrative leave Nov. 10, about a year after allegedly pilfering money from the student-funded activity account.

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Russian Nationals Accused Of Traveling To U.S. To Cheat At Slots Machines

Four Russian nationals have been indicted by the federal government for allegedly traveling to the United States to cheat at slot machines in Missouri,
California and Illionis. According to KSDK, the four used electronic devices to cheat at the casinos, which involved devices that would communicate with a
foreign server, allowing them to predict the outcome of the complex machines somehow.

Dan Bilzerian Facing Felony Charge In Nevada

Though he reportedly is in trouble with the law after a video recently surfaced that shows him allegedly kicking a woman in the face at a Miami nightclub this
past weekend, high-stakes poker player Dan Bilzerian was arrested at LAX over a then unspecified felony charge in Nevada. TMZ reported that Bilzerian has been
accused of attempting to make explosives.

Employee At Garbage Company Admits To Stealing $1.7M For Gambling, Sex Workers

An employee at a garbage collection company in Texas admitted in federal court that he embezzled $1.7 million and used it on gambling and escorts. According to, Bexar Waste employee Michael Dennehy, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud. He said he forged numerous company checks over six years.

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