Man becomes first person charged with cheating at Chicago’s new casino. It’s a felony.

Isaias Garcia-Martinez and an image of the baccarat game being played at the Paris casino in Las Vegas. | Chicago Police Department; Reddit

CHICAGO — A Little Village man has become the first person to be criminally charged with cheating at the new Bally’s Casino in downtown Chicago.

Isaias Garcia-Martinez, 51, is accused of placing a $25 chip on a 200-to-1 side bet at a baccarat table after the cards were dealt and the outcome of the hand was known. He walked away with a $5,000 payout before casino security realized what happened, according to an Illinois Gaming Board agent’s report.

Garcia-Martinez allegedly pulled the “past post” scam at a baccarat table on the casino’s third floor shortly after midnight Sunday. Baccarat is a card game in which dealers deal two hands, and the players bet on which hand they think will be closer to 9.

At one point, a round ended in a tie with both hands having three 7s. The odds of that happening are about 1 in 400.

After the round ended and everyone knew the outcome, Garcia-Martinez cupped a $25 chip in his hand and slyly placed it on a side bet that pays 200-to-1 if a round ends with both hands having triple 7s, prosecutors said.

According to a gaming agent’s report, the casino supervisor asked a surveillance officer to review footage of the table’s play to ensure that the bet was legit. The surveillance operator didn’t notice the “past post” until they were typing up a “verification report” about an hour later, the agent wrote.

By that time, Garcia-Martinez was long gone. Prosecutors said he walked away from the table after the dealer completed his $5,000 payout. He handed the $5,000 to another man and proceeded to cash in his original $25 chip, according to the agent. The second man cashed out Garcia-Martinez’s $5,000 plus another $1,200 in chips.

Garcia-Martinez and the other man returned to the baccarat tables around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday. Surveillance officers notified gaming board agents, and they arrested Garcia-Martinez, according to his arrest report.

Judge Ankur Srivastava released him from custody during an initial appearance hearing on Wednesday afternoon.

Original reporting you’ll see nowhere else, paid for by our readers. Click here to support our work.

About CWBChicago 6337 Articles
CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com