The casinos have seen it all and they know how to spot criminal acts when there is one. Billy J. Butler, a lucky bettor who tried to stay under the radar, was arrested for attempted fraud at the Blue Chip Casino, asking another person to collect his winnings. The man tried to send someone else to pick up his jackpot to avoid losing the money for child support payments he was falling behind.
Indiana takes gambling winnings from irresponsible parents
Some states, including Indiana, have laws that automatically seize gambling winnings from people who have not paid child support. The man won a small prize of $1,340 playing casino slots but was unwilling to pick it up in person because he owed $48,000 in child support.
He also won another undisclosed amount in an on-site table game. Either way, he wanted to avoid collecting either prize and instead had a woman come to the scene and collect the money for him. He offered to pay the woman $200, all of which was established by the casino and the Indiana Gaming Commission police officer who was made aware of the matter.
The woman abandoned Butler after being questioned by the inspector leading to the man’s arrest. Butler has had run-ins with authorities before. He was arrested in April for cheating at another gambling venue. Mishawaka police made the arrest. Butler was also found in unlawful possession of a firearm.
Casinos specifically about winners picking their winnings
There are many reasons why casinos do not award winnings to anyone who comes to claim them on someone else’s behalf. Butler’s case is exemplary. But aside from irate casino patrons who may discover that their money has gone to a deceitful character, there are also other objective reasons.
There are a good number of players who have collectible debt under state laws not only in Indiana but also in other places in the United States. That’s why winners will keep playing, but then when the time comes to collect, they’ll usually try to get someone else to collect the money, oblivious to the safeguards that casinos use to ensure that it doesn’t happen in the first place.
In a similar case from 2020, Ameristar Casino alerted police to a man attempting to collect a $1,358 slot machine jackpot through a proxy and was quickly arrested. An Indiana police officer was found to have contracted the services of another person to cash out the jackpot. The officer also owed child support.