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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
November 22, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Gaming Enforcement
- Thomas Auriemma, Director

 

Chuck Davis
609-777-2403

 
Division of Gaming Enforcement Files Petition to Place Two Slot Cheats on Exclusion List

TRENTON – Attorney General Peter C. Harvey and Division of Gaming Enforcement Director Thomas N. Auriemma today announced that the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has filed two petitions with the Casino Control Commission to add two convicted slot machine cheats, Sean McAndrew, 64, of Long Beach, California and Eugene Bulgarino, 72, of Peoria, Arizona, to New Jersey’s casino Exclusion List, which would bar them from entering any Atlantic City casino hotel.

The petitions seek to exclude McAndrew and Bulgarino, who were convicted of swindling more than $6 million from various Las Vegas casinos between 1996 and 1997. In November 1997, just prior to his arrest, McAndrew traveled to the area with the goal of targeting a $5 million slot jackpot at an Atlantic City casino. The jackpot was won legitimately before McAndrew had an opportunity to commit the theft.

One petition requests that the mastermind of two of the slot cheating rings, McAndrew, be placed on the Exclusion List. The second petition requests that his accomplice, Bulgarino, also be placed on the Exclusion List.

“Placing unsavory individuals on the Exclusion List is an important aspect of the DGE’s mission to maintain the integrity of the gaming industry in Atlantic City,” Auriemma stated. Currently, 171 people are named to the Exclusion List.

In 1983, McAndrew pled guilty to a federal indictment in Nevada charging him, and other accomplices, with utilizing a device to illegally manipulate slot machines and collect approximately $250,000 in fraudulent jackpots at various Las Vegas casinos including The Stardust, Golden Nugget and Circus Circus casino hotels between 1976 and 1978. McAndrew served eight years in prison and was released in 1991.

In 1998, McAndrew was convicted a second time for engaging in a slot cheating scam between September 1996 and November 1997 in which he, Eugene Bulgarino, and others, collected $6 million in fraudulent jackpots at the ten Las Vegas casinos listed below:

  • Circus Circus $ 40,000 - September 1996
  • Excalibur 200,000 - September 1996
  • Sahara 50,000 - November 1996
  • Luxor 73,000 - January 1997
  • Rio 30,000 - January 1997
  • Luxor 86,000 - March 1997
  • Harrah’s 3,778,000 - July 1997
  • Luxor 83,000 - October 1997
  • Luxor 1,743,000 - November 1997

Bulgarino assisted McAndrew in the slot cheating scheme by recruiting individuals who claimed the fraudulent jackpots and obtaining parts from slot manufacturers that were used in manipulating the slot machines.

McAndrew, who had his name changed from Dennis Andrew Nikrasch, to Dennis Sean McAndrew, was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison. He also uses the alias of Frank Shabazian, Robert H. Collins, Dennis Nelton, Nelton Dennison, Dennis Wells, Carl Peters and Charles Stevens.

Bulgarino, who was listed in the 1980 Pennsylvania Crime Commission Report as an associate of the Bruno Organized Crime family in Philadelphia, was McAndrew’s accomplice in the second slot cheating scheme in 1996 and 1997. He pled guilty in federal court in December 1998 to four charges and was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison.

Placement on the Exclusion List is based on proof that an individual’s presence in a licensed casino would be inimical to the interest of the State of New Jersey or of licensed gaming, and may be based on organized crime membership or associations or prior convictions for serious offenses. An individual has 30 days to request a hearing to contest an exclusion petition.

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