The Indiana Gaming Commission had a busy week last week, arresting two players at Bally’s Evansville for allegedly cheating within a four-day period.
The two arrests were unrelated. The two men charged – Luis Manuel Garcia Segoviano and Albert Walls – face varying degrees of severity in their prospective punishments.
Segoviano, 42, was booked on Oct. 16 for allegedly attempting to set up a “jackpot switch,” grounds for a cheating-related felony.
Walls, 81, had a warrant for his arrest since Oct. 4 for allegedly playing at a roulette table with stolen chips. Officials charged him with a cheating felony and a misdemeanor for theft on Oct. 19.
Who oversees gambling investigations in IN?
Hoosiers have several options to gamble legally within state lines, including 13 casinos and racinos and 11 online sportsbooks. While online casinos in Indiana remain illegal, the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) oversees all legal gambling activities in the state to ensure operations remain safe and secure.
If the IGC finds a potential issue, it will open an investigation. Both of last week’s arrests came from investigations.
Segoviano’s dated back to Sept. 8, when he won a slot jackpot for $1,322. He paid a friend $100 to cash out the jackpot, only for the friend’s request to be denied on the grounds of owing child support.
The player admitted that Segoviano was the real jackpot winner, prompting a month-long investigation that led to Segoviano’s arrest.
Walls’ investigation began on Aug. 26 after a Bally’s surveillance officer noticed he possessed allegedly stolen “black non-value roulette chips” and tried to use them at a table. An IGC agent questioned him, and he said he purchased the chips from a friend without knowing they were stolen.
Both men facing felony charges
During Segoviano’s investigation, he told agents he had no idea what a jackpot switch was. An agent asked why he didn’t cash out the winnings himself, and he said he thought it would be easier not to.
Segoviano added that he was trying to save money by avoiding paying state and federal taxes on the winnings, around $300. He was released after posting a $445 cash bond and must reappear in court at a later date.
Walls’ case is a little murkier. He identified the man from whom he purchased the stolen chips and agents found him still onsite.
The man admitted to stealing and selling the chips, adding that Walls knew they were stolen, directly contradicting Walls’ claim. Walls posted a $500 bond and was released the same day of his arrest.
Cheating at gaming is a Level 6 felony, the lowest in Indiana. If convicted, sentencing usually ranges between six months and two-and-a-half years with a $10,000 maximum fine.
Bally’s maintains a 7% share of Indiana casino market
Although it is not one of Indiana’s top-five revenue producers, Bally’s Evansville continues to hold steady and produce eight-figure totals in that category.
Bally’s Evansville generated $12.7 million in September casino revenue, accounting for 6.9% of the state’s $192.3 million total. This was a 4.3% drop year-over-year, outperforming the 5.4% statewide decline.
September marked six consecutive months where Bally’s had a market share between 6.9% and 7.3%. It also grew its Indiana sports betting footprint at its retail sportsbook, even as the Bally Bet Indiana Sportsbook app remains offline for nearly four months and counting.
Bally’s has an insignificant 0.3% market share with no online presence, but its retail growth was significant nonetheless. Its $1.4 million handle grew by 27% YoY, well ahead of the 5.6% increase statewide.