Casino Crimes In Ohio
The State of Ohio strictly enforces the Casino Gaming chapter of the Ohio Revised Code. At the two casinos in the Columbus / Franklin County area (Hollywood Casino and Scioto Downs Racino), casino patrons and employees sometimes find themselves in situations which lead to criminal charges. Those situations are varied, as there are so many rules which may be broken. Sometimes the rules are broken on purpose, sometimes the line is blurred, and sometimes there is just a misunderstanding or no violation at all. Regardless of the situation, everyone charged with a casino gaming offense in Columbus, Ohio could profit from the advice and advocacy of a good criminal defense attorney.Casino Crimes and Punishments in Ohio
Ohio law prohibits many different activities at casinos. Some violations of casino gaming laws are treated as administrative matters or punished with civil penalties. Other violations of Ohio casino gaming law are criminal offenses. The following is a list of common Ohio casino crimes and the penalties associated with them.
The following offenses, if done purposely, are first-degree misdemeanors for a first offense, which means a conviction is punishable by incarceration for up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000. For a second offense (or more), a conviction is a fifth-degree felony, which means a conviction is punishable by incarceration up to 12 months and a fine of up to $2,500.
- Make a false statement on an application
- Permit a person under age 21 to make a wager at a casino facility
- Aid, induce, or cause a person under age 21 (who is not an employee of the casino) to enter or attempt to enter a casino facility
- Enter or attempt to enter a casino facility while under age 21, except to pass to an area where casino gaming is not being conducted
- If a casino operator or employee, participate in casino gaming at the casino facility at which the casino operator or employee has an interest or is employed or at an affiliated casino facility in this state other than as part of operation or employment
The following offenses, if done purposely or knowingly, are fifth-degree felonies for a first offense (up to 12 months incarceration and a $2,500 fine). For a second offense (or more), a conviction is a fourth-degree felony (up to 18 months incarceration and a $5,000 fine). In addition, a person who is a casino gaming licensee will have the license revoked.
- Use, or possess with the intent to use, a device to: assist in projecting the outcome of the casino game, keep track of the cards played, analyze the probability of the occurrence of an event relating to the casino game, or analyze the strategy for playing or betting to be used in the casino game
- Cheat at a casino game
- Manufacture, sell, or distribute any cards, chips, dice, game, or device that is intended to be used to violate the casino gaming laws
- Alter or misrepresent the outcome of a casino game on which wagers have been made after the outcome is made sure but before the outcome is revealed to the players
- Place, increase, or decrease a wager on the outcome of a casino game after acquiring knowledge that is not available to all players and concerns the outcome of the casino game that is the subject of the wager (or aid a person in doing so)
- Claim, collect, take, or attempt to claim, collect, or take money or anything of value in or from a casino game with the intent to defraud or without having made a wager contingent on winning a casino game
- Claim, collect, or take an amount of money or thing of value of greater value than the amount won in a casino game;
- Use or possess counterfeit chips, tokens, or cashless wagering instruments in or for use in a casino game
- Possess a key or device designed for opening, entering, or affecting the operation of a casino game, drop box, or an electronic or a mechanical device connected with the casino game or remove coins, tokens, chips, or other contents of a casino game
- Possess materials used to manufacture a device intended to be used in a manner that violates the casino gaming laws
There are additional casino crimes in the Ohio Revised Code. This is a list of some casino-related offenses which are commonly investigated and prosecuted in Columbus, Ohio.Investigation of Ohio Casino Offenses
Casinos are under the authority of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, and the Commission is considered a law enforcement agency. The Commission’s gaming agents who investigate casino offenses are certified peace officers. In addition to the gaming agents, the Enforcement Division of the Commission also includes investigators and intelligence analysts who assist with the investigation of casino-related crimes.Other Offenses Committed at Ohio Casinos
The list of casino crimes and punishments only addresses the crimes described in Ohio Revised Code section 3772.99. Those crimes are specifically related to casinos. Many other crimes are committed in casinos: they are unrelated to gaming but just happen to be committed at a casino. Common offenses committed at the Casinos in Columbus include: Assault, Criminal Trespassing, Disorderly Conduct, Drug Possession, False Identification, Obstructing Official Business, Resisting Arrest, and Theft. Those offenses are addressed in separate pages of this website.The Court Process for Casino-Related Offenses
A person accused of a casino-related crime in Columbus, Ohio (or a non-gaming crime committed at one of the Columbus casinos) will go to court in Franklin county. If the offense is a misdemeanor, the case will be heard in the Franklin County Municipal Court. If the offense is a felony, the case will go to the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. In either court, the process is essentially the same. There is a separate page of this website which describes the court process in detail, and reading that page will give you a good feel for what to expect in court. Before you go to court, you should decide whether you will enter a guilty plea at your first court appearance, whether you will hire a lawyer, and which lawyer you will hire.Lawyers for Casino Crimes in Columbus, Ohio
The lawyers at the Dominy Law Firm represent clients for casino-related offenses in Franklin County, as well as non-gaming criminal offenses which occur in the Columbus casinos. Our office is in Columbus, and the majority of our cases are in Franklin County, so we are very familiar with those courts and personnel. If you have a case arising from one of the Columbus casinos and would like to discuss representation, you can schedule a free phone consultation: complete a CONTACT FORM or call our office at 614-717-1177.