The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is looking into a $500,000 cash theft from a casino in a mountain hamlet. This is the largest loss from a casino in Colorado since gambling was legalized in the state again in 1991.
The incident happened on March 12 at the Monarch Casino Resort and Spa in Black Hawk, Colorado, which is about 34 miles west of Denver. A Gilpin County Clerk deputy who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that 44-year-old casino cashier Sabrina Eddy was arrested on charges of theft and was still in jail as of Tuesday afternoon.
Casino funds were withdrawn, but Monarch officials did not disclose how. “While we can confirm that the theft occurred,” Casino spokeswoman Erica Ferris said, “this is currently an active and open investigation and Monarch is making no comment.”
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According to an affidavit filed in Gilpin County District Court in support of a warrantless arrest, Eddy was working as the “cage cashier” in the Monarch shortly after midnight when she began receiving phone and text messages from males purporting to be casino supervisors.
According to the affidavit, she was told to steal from the casino in order to pay for legal representation. According to the affidavit, surveillance footage showed Eddy placing $50,000 in cash bricks into a box and then transporting the money in a gold minivan.
She allegedly left the casino, returned to the vault for additional cash, drove to Denver’s St. Anthony’s Hospital per instructions, and gave the cash to a man outside the emergency room. She allegedly called the casino after stealing money from there, explaining that she was afraid she would be jailed.
“Eddy continued to state that she had done nothing wrong but she was just following orders that she believed had been put out by the casino,” the affidavit said.
Representatives from the Colorado Division of Gaming, which is responsible for overseeing the state’s gambling business, declined to comment on the heist beyond confirming that “active administrative and criminal investigations” were underway.
Colorado Department of Revenue spokeswoman Suzanne Karrer said in an email, “The Division of Gaming is working with our local law enforcement and criminal justice partners to investigate this incident thoroughly and will not comment further on this case until the investigative, administrative, and criminal processes have concluded.
Voters in Colorado’s mountain towns of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek were given the green light to host limited forms of gambling after the passage of the Colorado Limited Gaming Initiative in 1990. In 2003, a security worker for JP McGills Casino in Cripple Creek was accused of stealing $300,000.
A man was shot and given 224 years in jail in 2010 after he robbed the Famous Bonanza in Central City while brandishing a gun and taking $28,000. A group of armed robbers escaped with $8,000 from the Gold Rush Casino and Hotel in Cripple Creek in 1993.
“This latest case is the largest theft we can find, but small thefts occur regularly, and fraudulent acts are the crime we respond to the most, getting several every week,” Karrer said. There are 740 slot machines, 14 gaming tables, and a 250-seat buffet at the Monarch Casino in Black Hawk.
It is owned by Reno, Nevada’s Monarch Casino and Resort Inc., which credited “the ongoing ramp-up of our expanded and enhanced Black Hawk property.” for a $120.5 million fourth-quarter profit in 2022.
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