Russian poker player jailed over cheating £60,000 from London casino in single game

Russian poker player jailed over cheating in casino. Credit: Met Police

A 57-year-old Russian man who cheated at poker and winning just under £60,000 in a single poker game at a London casino has been jailed for four months.

Valeriy Mikhaylets, aged 57, of Moscow, Russia, pleaded guilty to one count of cheating at gambling.

He was sentenced to four months' imprisonment plus an £86,000 fine, £57,025 compensation and a Deprivation Order amounting to £50,000 plus £893.75 costs.

Mikhaylets did not contest any of these fines/orders.

In the weeks leading up to 30 November 2014, Mikhaylets entered poker competitions at the Palm Beach casino operated by Genting where his play raised suspicions.

Between 30 November 2014 and 1 December 2014, Valeriy Mikhaylets cheated on multiple occasions during a 'Texas Hold'em' poker game causing the loss to other players of £57,025 and his winnings were placed on deposit with the casino.

On 26 January 2015, Mikhaylets attended the Palm Beach Casino where he was arrested for fraud by Met police officers and later bailed to return on 15 July 2015 pending further enquires.

When arrested he was in possession of various items including two Genting Casino membership cards, one in his own name and another in someone else's and £2,000 in cash.

Police also found playing cards, dice and some sandpaper which he stated was for smoothing out card edges.

Mikhaylets failed to return on bail and a European Arrest Warrant was issued for his arrest.

On 9 April he was arrested crossing from Russia to Finland and later extradited to England.

He was charged and appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on 5 May.