State Attorney Says Cheating MD Casinos Is ‘Stealing From Children’

Written By Dan Holmes on June 12, 2024
A pick pocketer taking money out of someone's back pocket.

A former blackjack dealer at MGM National Harbor Hotel & Casino in Oxen Hill is accused of assisting players with cheating. The woman prosecuting the case equated the alleged act with robbing Maryland children.

If convicted of all the charges against her, Jamie Lewis could be sentenced to as many as 10 years in prison.

Lewis, who was fired last year, is charged with conspiracy to commit theft, embezzlement, and other crimes, including multiple felonies.

State attorney takes view that house money is public funds

Maryland State Attorney for Prince George’s County Aisha Braveboy pointed out that casino theft results in less money for education in the state.

“Stealing from any casino like MGM is like stealing from our children.”

Some of the money collected from casinos in taxes goes to a Maryland public education fund.

Revenue from table games at MGM National routinely lead the state each month. In May, for example, MGM’s $28 million in table game revenue outpaced all other casinos in the state. It represented 53.8% of Maryland table game revenue last month.

Lawmakers debated whether to legalize Maryland online casinos during the 2024 legislative session. Despite funding concerns for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, an education plan geared at upgrading the state’s public education system with a $3.8 billion price tag, both online casino bills stalled in the Senate.

As a result, Maryland sweepstakes casinos are the only options for Marylanders right now. Education funding will likely be the driving narrative behind future legalization.

Lewis allegedly helped players win $43,000

Lewis, 31, allegedly allowed players at her table to see cards that were supposed to remain turned over. The indictment also contends that Lewis permitted players to alter their bets mid-game.

All the acts were caught on video, said legal authorities and Harbor Casino officials.

According to the charges in Prince George’s County, from Oct. 2 – 8, 2023, Lewis enabled multiple players at her table to cheat their way to winnings in excess of $43,000.

Lewis could be sentenced up to 10 years in prison if she is found guilty of all charges.

Another MGM National dealer was convicted in 2019

In 2019, a dealer was convicted of cheating in baccarat along with co-conspirators in Maryland at two casinos. One was MGM National Harbor.

Ming Zhang was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for the crime. She helped to con the casinos out of more than $1 million. She was also ordered to repay the money she stole.

Last month, Maryland casinos reported revenue of $173.2 million. That led to $74.4 million in tax revenue for the state, of which $53.7 million was placed in the Maryland Education Trust Fund.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes writes about sports betting, sports media, casino and sports betting legislative matters for several of the Play sites, including PlayMaryland, PlayMichigan and PlayMassachusetts. He's the author of three books, and previously reported for Major League Baseball, as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters.

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