Do you enjoy going to Black Hawk to let loose, win (or more likely throw away) some money at the casino, and share some drinks and entertainment with friends? Plenty of residents in the Denver Metro area take the drive up the canyon on any given weekend for just that. Sure, it is mostly fun and games, but if you don’t play your cards right, you may find yourself charged with a crime: Limited Gaming Fraud (Colorado Limited Gaming Act: “Fraudulent Acts” C.R.S. Section 44-30-822(1)(c)).
You are walking the casino floor and notice a few credits worth a few cents that are left active in a slot machine. You think to yourself, this is my lucky day, and play the machine. Or, maybe, you come across a ticket or a chip worth a few dollars on the casino floor, pick it up and cash it in at the counter or use it to play at a machine or at a table. According to Colorado’s Limited Gaming Act, these credits and chips belong to the casino, and when you play them or cash them in, you are stealing.
If discovered, and believe me, casinos are equipped to look for this and discover violations (always remember, eyes in the sky!), you could be charged with a class one misdemeanor, facing the possibility of fines, community service, probation or even up to 18 months in jail.
Section 44-30-822. [Formerly 12-47.1-823] Fraudulent acts. (1) It is unlawful for a person: … (c) To claim, collect, or take, or attempt to claim, collect, or take, money or anything of value in or from a limited gaming activity with intent to defraud and without having made a wager contingent thereon…
These violations are not necessarily intuitive or commonly thought of as illegal by the average person. It is easy for you or your friends to happen upon one of these opportunities for free play and to think “its my lucky day” or “finder’s keepers.” If you find yourself at a casino in one of these situations, just remember the 2 dollar ticket or 5 dollar chip, is not worth the chance you will be ticketed and charged for this violation.
If you find yourself in this situation, it is prudent to have a lawyer review your case, to determine if the state can prove you violated this statute, and what your options are for fighting the case, or obtaining an alternate resolution to pleading guilty to this offense.
Owner of Gold Law, L.L.C. and Attorney Matthew S. Gold knows Black Hawk and Casino gaming cases, having worked in Gilpin County as a former prosecutor and can get you the best possible result for your case.
Matthew S. GOLd
Owner and Attorney at Gold Law, L.L.C.
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