Big Winners Attacked after Leaving Casino

Big Winners Attacked after Leaving Casino It is a possibility that big winners don’t necessarily think about, getting robbed on the way home from the casino. At Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin it is a trend that has been going on for a number of years as WISN ABC local news in that area reports.

One of the earliest incidents happened to Lois Luedtke after winning close to $11,000. Driving to her home in Richfield, she pulled her inside the garage, when felt someone come up behind her, ripping her purse off her shoulder.

“I said, ‘I'm going to catch you,’ and I started to run after him. Well, by that time, he was gone”. I lost cash, my credit cards, my driver’s license,” she said.

However, police were successful in apprehending a Ronnie Watkins who was found guilty of robbing more than a half dozen winners from the Potawatomi Casino. He is now serving more than 20 years in prison for his crimes.

Although Potawatomi doesn’t share records of these incidents, WISN news was able to retrieve records of reports from the area police regarding these type of robberies over the last three years and was quite alarming to learn.

Some reports that happened to gamblers after leaving Casino property include:

· From Milwaukee, a man was robbed at gunpoint after giving another gambler a ride home.

· From Racine, a man was held up after picking up two women at the casino.

· From Milwaukee, a woman was mugged after taking the bus home.

· From Milwaukee, a couple was followed home and robbed.

· From Greenfield, a woman was attacked at home after leaving the casino in May.

Some reports happening on Casino property include:

· From Franklin, a man was mugged on his way out.

· From Waukesha, 2 women were held up as they left the casino counting their cash.

· From Wauwatosa, a woman was knocked unconscious and robbed in the parking lot.

After the local new obtained the Potawatomi surveillance camera video it provided evidence in the Greenfield woman’s case.

According to the police, a convicted felon Jimmy J. Riley, played Blackjack while coming across a 79-year-old slot player who was oblivious to anyone watching her.

After the woman arrived at her home, a man shoved her into her trunk and took off with her purse.

In just a short time thereafter, the casino video tape revealed Riley returned to the casino and tried to use the woman's ATM card and went back to the tables again.

Casinos will offer a check to big winners over a certain amount and it is up to the player if they want check or cash. At Potawatomi any win over $5,000 is by check.

For reasons of safety and better protective measures, issuing a check is a better option to choose.
  • Yes this casino is not the safest. There have been at least 2 shootings inside the casino that I know of. They really need metal detectors there, but they will never get them as it will give them a bad name. I normally take the cash, but recently I won over $5000, had taxes taken out, and then asked for a check for $3000 which they gave me. Mostly because I didn't want to spend it back :) But it was a very busy Saturday night and a lot of people were gawking behind me. What I hate is when they pay you they count out the $100 bills. A lot of times I have to tell them to keep their voice down. They yell out one hundred, two hundred, three hundred, etc. By the time they get to $4000 it draws people.
  • @PaaskeUK there is no casino in the US that I know of where you can use your debit or credit card (land based that is) to put money into a machine to gamble. I also do not know of one where you can have your winnings transferred to you bank account. That would be a blessing for me and a curse to some who have no self control. The safest thing I can think of as far as land based winning is concerned is to be forever vigilant of your surrounding and not so geeked up to let EVERYONE know you hit. That is also why I do not like the loud noises the machines make when you hit a big win
  • @idark I don't think we in the US have the option to have the winnings transferred to our banks yet. Maybe sometime in the future, I hope. This would cut down on a lot of the thefts but not so much on the mugging. Thieves will jack you for your bank card, hold you hostage to get your pin and still make off with your funds if they know that is what you did. It's a shame but it's a fact. A thief will steal the bricks off the building with only their fingernails if they had to.
  • I've known about this for several years but it has never happened to me thank God. I remember going there a few times and saw a man watching me no matter where I went, he was somewhere around just watching me. I told security immediately and they had him removed. You see I had just won a little bit of money, not much 2300 and I guess he wanted it. I tend to not do the screaming and yelling when I hit a nice piece of change because of this very reason, I do not want to draw attention to me. If I by chance did win a huge amount, you best believe I would be booking a room at that casino hotel and have security follow me to my room as I watch for anyone ANYONE that I see watching me. If I were at one that didn't have a hotel, security would have to escort me to my car and I'd keep a good watch and if I even thought I was being followed, I'd have my husband and sons waiting for me to pull up, best believe that.
  • That's right, getting a check is a better option to choose than cash, nowadays especially. You never know who is watching you and what they might do to get the money you just won. I was so surprised when I read this story. I guess because of the casinos security that players, winning players, would be safer, but I guess the casinos security is not really for the players, is it. Every kind of crime is on the rise. You have just got to be more careful, know matter where you are or what your doing....... Is there anywhere that you can feel really safe........
  • Nothing to justify a robbery but i think these criminals have a set of brains! Waiting for a big casino winner to step out of the doors and then clean him up. Much less risk than robbing a bank :D I once wondered that if some one wins the biggest jackpot in out local casino how they are brave enough to step out the casino, but only to find out they pay big amount via bank transfer, ( or cash if you insist)
  • I have gambled at a lot of land based casinos but never thought of the possibility of being robbed or followed. These stories are the scary truth many don't think about . Obviously they tend to prey on the elderly as its probably easier to rob them ( sadly ) . This story opens eyes to be aware of these unfortunate possibilities . Im lucky this has never happened to me , Ive never won more than 8000 either so I wasn't a good target . I will definitely keep eyes peeled and take precautions if I ever win again .
  • That's why Don't like land based Casino's. Another reason to stay away and play confortible, secured and safe at Your home. The bad thing could be happen - lost internet conectivity or lost power. That;s 2 things. So at the land based casino's, if You are playing like highroller or manage to win random big win with small bet, the sharks could be informed and they will wait before casino doors with several guys who like to get Your money easy, lol. Not funny at all. Security should make a move and don't let to walk away with big money after winnings! I declare, that the ebst choice is to get secured with casino staff ( security guys ) or leave the money at the casino! Ask to transfer the winning to bank account. problems will be reduced or eliminated at this stage! Peace to all!!!
  • This is why if I am at a land based casino if I win. I will always check around for any suspect people and cover my winnings. Or best option is to just ask for a transfer into your bank account as almost all land based casinos can do this now. Or also not sure if it exist should get like a casino card where you could go online and transfer to your bank account or could load up the card from home. This way you would not need to bring your credit cards and can only spend whats on that card. I think that would be a brilliant idea for use at all land based casinos. I have not been to US but think to have seen you can your credit card in machines and also withdraw winnings direct in the slot machine?
  • I wonder if it is always risky to leave a land based casino after a big win? I mean are there organized gangs just skulking around the casino floor waiting and watching for the winners to collect their cash? It sounds that way. I often wonder about the casino near where I live in terms of big payout, could I get a check instead of cash if I won big one day? Scary, security should be beefed up and checks should be recommended when players cash out.

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