Former dealer at The Meadows charged with helping patrons win

July 9, 2014

An Ohio man was charged by the state attorney general’s office with giving gamblers tips on how to win at the roulette table while he worked the game last year at The Meadows Casino in North Strabane Township.

Working with a confidential informant, state police Cpl. Paul Mumau filed charges last month against Robert M. Valle, 56, of Wintersville, accusing him of instructing the informant to place wagers on certain numbers, including 4, to increase his odds of winning, court records state.

The affidavit suggests Valle then told the informant he would aim the roulette ball for the number 4 when he tossed it into the wheel, “calling it his middle number.”

The alleged scheme was orchestrated in such a way to prevent the ball from landing on his “usual targets,” the record states.

Valle also allegedly told the informant he used the same techniques to help other patrons win money at the casino, and that one man he helped won “a couple hundred dollars.”

The information leading to Valle’s case was recorded by both audio and video devices, as well as using the casino’s surveillance equipment, between 10:15 and 10:54 a.m. July 2, 2013, the record states.

He is charged with violating gaming prohibited acts by tricking or defrauding the table and conspiracy.

Casino spokesman Tom Meinert said Valle is no longer an employee of the business. He declined further comment, saying personnel matters are confidential.

Valle received the charges in a summons and has yet to be arraigned in the case. He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday before District Judge Jay Weller.

It is not immediately known if he has an attorney to represent him at the hearing.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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