Casino Employee Pleads Guilty to Stealing up to $84k from Casino’s Cash-Out Machines

September 13th, 2023: We always think of casinos as busy places where players take on the chance to win some payouts or even jackpots. There’s money to win with plenty of machines and tables that allow players to collect these. But for one employee of the Gun Lake Casino in Allegan County, Michigan, money comes in an unexpected and illegal place- the cashout machines. It seems that toilets aren’t the only ones that get clogged in casinos; it can also happen to cash-out machines.

According to reports, the employee tasked to clear the jams took advantage of the situation. Instead of returning the dollar bills to the management, he decided to keep these to himself. Reports add that the activity lasted over 14 months, but now, he’s facing jail time after getting busted.

Casino loses cash out money

In casinos, players who win a payout or hit the jackpot must collect their money from the cashout machines. Once the player decides to cash out, paper bills get out of the machine, and players enjoy their winnings. However, through constant use, these machines can clog, resulting in technical failures or, worse, preventing winners from fully cashing out their money.

Malfunctioning cash-out machines and terminals can cause problems for players and the management, but for one employee of Gun Lake Casino, it has become an interesting and lucrative opportunity. According to police reports, Jordan Lewis Clark, an employee of the Gun Lake Casino, used his position to steal money from these cash-out machines that malfunctioned after clogging. Reports say Clark admitted to stealing at least $84,564 from these machines.

As an employee of the casino, Clark’s job includes maintaining the machines and the self-service ticket-in, ticket-out (TITO) kiosks and other cash redemption terminals when they stop working. During the investigations, Clark admitted to pocketing some cash when these terminals clogged.

Employee admits his guilt

According to federal prosecutors, Clark stole from the casino from September 2021 to November 2022. After the arraignment in May, Clark was released on a $10,000 bail, and he decided that it was in his best interest to admit guilt. The plea agreement was entered last month, and US Magistrate Judge Ray Kent has already accepted the settlement.

Here’s a portion of the plea deal submitted and approved by the court:

“Defendant admits that part of his job was to help clear out jams in the ‘cash out machines’ located in and around the Gun Lake Casino floor,” the plea deal reads. “To clear out jams in these machines, Defendant admits that he used a key card to open the machine, took out the cassettes that hold currency in various monetary denominations, removed the crunkled or misfed currency, placed the previously jammed cash back into the cassettes, and finally closed the machine door.”

Clark faces prison time and a $250k fine

As the law requires, Clark must fully restate the missing money to the casino. Also, he faces up to five years in prison and must pay a $250,000 fine, considered the maximum penalty for an individual guilty of a single theft of an Indian Tribal Organization.