Emerald man charged with Keno fraud

Warren Lynam

MORE than $60,000 worth of Keno bets placed at The Emerald Hotel were never paid for and an employee in a senior position has been arrested.

A manager at the hotel was charged with fraud after allegedly placing Keno bets without paying up and will face the Emerald Magistrates Court.

The manager, a 47-year-old Emerald man, was charged with one count of stealing by clerks and servants and one count of fraud dishonesty to gain benefit or advantage.

Police alleged the man placed Keno bets to the value of $62,530 without paying for them through the till.

He also allegedly stole $10,000 from the business, which was later recovered by police.

Emerald police were alerted to the offences by one of the man's fellow employees.

Criminal Investigation Branch plain clothes Senior Constable Stephen Wadeson said community help greatly assisted police.

"The prompt reporting of this matter by community members resulted in the timely arrest of the offender and the recovery of a significant amount of money."

"Community participation in reporting crime to police and providing information to Crime Stoppers gives police a significant advantage in catching offenders," Snr Const Wadeson said.

But owner of The Emerald Hotel Stephen Mills said he was not aware of any charges laid.

"They (police) came through here and they claimed they had taken a call from a young girl early in the morning," Mr Mills said.

"I have not been informed of any charges laid."

Mr Mills said the manager was an upstanding citizen and had held gaming licences in multiple states for many years.

He said that "prior to his arrest he (the manager) was doing a great job".

The manager was charged at the Emerald Police Station on Thursday.

The accused will face court next month.

Gambling issues are not new in Queensland and in 2012-2013 more than $100 million was spent on Keno alone.

In the 30th edition of the Australian Gambling Statistics report, it was stated that Queenslanders spent $109.325 million on Keno in 2012-13.

This compared to a comparatively small $38.591 million in 1997-98.

The report defined Keno as "a game where a player wagers that their chosen numbers match any of the 20 numbers randomly selected from a group of 80 numbers via a computer system or a ball-draw device".

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