Industry Reports

VLT Fraudster Declared Guilty of Obtaining and Cashing Someone Else’s Tickets

Video Lottery Terminals are a popular offering at gaming locations and more family-friendly facilities across Canada and Newfoundland is one of the provinces that has a special relationship with those devices. A Marystown resident attempted to defraud a diner location with VLT slips he found and cashed the spring of 2018. In a recent ruling, Judge Harold Porter convicted Wade Joseph Kelly of fraud and possession of stolen goods.

VLTs could be located in many venues across the province and their popularity has been impressive over the past years. Due to their popularity, they are also capable of polarizing the opinions and people are often times vocal about them. There are also instances where players take advantage of the circumstances, such as the one involving Mr. Kelly who probably thought that this is his winning ticket to fortune and easy life.

Scammer Stole Nearly CA$700 via Cashed Slips

Mr. Kelly was a VLT enthusiast with a history of spending hours at the said diner on his pursuit of cash rewards. One day he found winning VLT strips that had already been validated and cashed in by an employee of the diner. For him, this was a sign that he should make the best of this situation, but his version of the situation remains unclear.

He had previously claimed that the said slips were placed on one of the VLTs available on site. However, he was also aware that the slips that had already been cashed are usually kept in the bar area of the diner, as to not be mistaken for new ones. An employee at the said diner confirmed that the validated VLT slips are kept in a safe place behind the bar, meaning that finding them scattered around the venue is considered impossible.

Judge Porter stated that this information further solidifies the unlawful nature of the act. Regardless of this, he still had the intention to cash them in, pretending that he had won and was collecting the prize coming with the slips. This eventually worked and he bagged about CA$700 as a result of the fraud.

Video Lottery Terminal’s Future Threatened

Later on that same day, the employee in charge of paying out VLT winnings discovered that she is missing some CA$700 from the cash amassed for the day and was quick to recall that a player cashed in several slips with a curious warning. Apparently, he told the employee that she should not tell anyone about the cash prizes he had just won because his wife should not know.

Once the staff member discovered the missing cash, she signaled about the fraud and subsequent actions took place. Mr. Kelly has provided various explanations and storylines regarding the discovery of the said slips and at this point, Judge Porter has concluded they are unreliable. However, it is true that the man lied by omission. The convictions range from possession of stolen goods for the VLT slips he cashed, as well as fraud.

December 2018 saw progress on a groundbreaking class-action lawsuit against Atlantic Lottery Corporation VLTs in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal dismissed a previously filed argument and gave green light to the process to go forward. Plaintiffs state that the very nature of VLTs could be defined as deceptive and they lead to problem gambling rates surge. Upcoming months could change the VLTs’ future across the country.