Baccarat dealer, Halfmoon player accused in $20K theft from Rivers Casino in Schenectady

Monday 10th February 2020

SCHENECTADY - A baccarat dealer at Rivers Casino in Schenectady and a player from Halfmoon have been arrested, accused of working together to steal an estimated $20,000 from the casino, authorities said.

Joseph Hage, 47, of Grooms Road, Halfmoon, and Sarkis Boutros, 34, of Northern Drive, Troy, were each arrested Thursday evening at the casino and charged with third-degree grand larceny.

The two are accused of taking the money at the casino the evening of Jan. 25, according to police allegations filed in court.

Boutros, as the dealer, is accused of paying out the chips to Hage for non-winning Baccarat hands and Hage is accused of accepting the chips knowing he did not win them, according to to the allegations. The chips were later exchanged for cash, authorities allege.

Both Boutros and Hage are believed to have known each other outside the casino, prosecutor Eamonn Neary said Monday. He didn't have information on how exactly they allegedly knew each other.

"It does appear that they did know each other," Neary said.

He did not have information on when the casino picked up on the alleged scheme, but said there was also an indication that Hage did better at Boutros' table.

The casino has been very helpful in the investigation, including with video evidence, Neary said.

The casino had roughly 700 surveillance cameras as of 2017, casino officials said then.

"They have great security video," Neary said.

Contacted Monday, a casino spokesman referred questions on the case to police.

Hage and Boutros were arraigned and released under non-monetary conditions. They are due back in court later.

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