I-Team exclusive: Horseshoe Casino dealer speaks out about cheating accusations

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Robert Brown, 57, is ready for trick-or-treat at his home on Brandywine Road in Sagamore Hills.  What he never expected on this night before All Hallows Eve, was the trick would be on him.

“We saw that the County had indicted you for cheating,” said I-Team Reporter Lorrie Taylor, with whom Brown spoke exclusively.

“They did?” he asked while standing in his front door.

“Yes, for cheating at poker. What happened?” asked Taylor.

“A fluke is what happened,” said Brown.

He had no idea accusations made against him by an agent from the Ohio Casino Control Commission had been turned over to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor.

“A card accidentally went up my sleeve. I deal poker, I don’t even know how it got there,” he said.

Brown told Taylor he knew there was a problem at the table where he was dealing Texas Hold’em in Cleveland’s Horseshoe Casino on September 6 when a red light on a shuffler indicated a card was missing.

“I called my supervisor over, and we’re looking every--we looked for ten, fifteen minutes. We lift up the rail; we looked on the floor; we lifted up the shuffler trying to find this card,” he explained.

Brown said they gave up and he moved on to deal at another table.  He said he reached down to pick up a piece of trash lying on the floor and saw the missing card.

“Somehow it was on me. They’re saying it was on my sleeve; I don’t even know where it was but they’re saying it was up my sleeve and it fell out,” he said.

A complaint summary created by a representative from the Casino Control Commission said “Robert Brown, dealer at the casino, removes card from table and places card up his sleeve.” The statement read as if the author was reviewing a security video while typing the report.

“And the guy’s trying to say I did it on purpose,” said Brown.
“Did he say what your motive might be?” asked Taylor.
“No, not really, no; it’s just a joke,” said Brown.

He told Taylor an agent eventually accused him of practicing “how to cheat” for an upcoming tournament.  Brown said the accusation made no sense because dealers wear short sleeves during tournaments. He was suspended from the Horseshoe Casino.

A spokesperson for the Casino Commission said:

“We were aware of Mr. Brown’s assertions; however, based on information from the Commission’s investigation, the County Prosecutor decided to seek an indictment.”

Brown is facing one felony count of Gambling.  He will make his first appearance before a judge on November 13.