Man Robs Nebraska Convenience Store to Gamble

When most people want to gamble, they find extra money in their sock drawers, or use their bankroll. But if there’s no extra money left, what is an avid gambler to do? One man decided to go out and rob a convenience store to gamble at his favorite casino.

The Crime

Nuradeen Ahmed wanted to go and gamble at his favorite casino—Harrah’s in Council Bluffs, Iowa. However, he didn’t have any money to gamble with. He decided to rob a local convenience store and use that money to gamble. On September 20th, Ahmed, wearing a University of Nebraska hoodie and jeans, walked into Bucky’s early in the morning. He did not show a gun, but he did indicate that he had something in his pocket. The convenience store clerk gave Ahmed the money that was in the register, and Ahmed fled on foot.

The Sighting

Nuradeen AhmedAhmed did not go far. In fact, Ahmed traveled about a mile from the Bucky’s to Harrah’s Casino in Council Bluffs. Ahmed is a regular customer at Harrah’s and he has become familiar to the security guards who work at the casino. After he robbed the convenience store, Ahmed spent several hours at Harrah’s. The convenience store clerk called the police, and the police issued an arrest warrant and an alert. When the security guard heard the alert, he knew that Ahmed liked to gamble at the casino. He began to watch out of him. Sure enough, the security guard recognized Ahmed and called police.

Ahmed must have had a sense that he had been spotted because he ran from the casino. He was on the run for over a month, but was recently picked up by the Council Bluffs Police Department. He was booked into the jail on second-degree robbery charges.

Gambling in Council Bluffs

There is no casino gambling in Nebraska, other than tribal gambling. Native American tribes own four casinos in the area. Nebraska also has a variety of slot machines that are located in bars and nightclubs. The Cornhusker State has debated for years about whether or not to legalize commercial casinos. But so far, that has not happened. Economists point out Nebraska may not legalize gambling because of the low population numbers and the lack of tourism.

GamblingHowever, the charitable gaming halls, such as bingo, made nearly $300 million in gambling revenue last year. The state made $8 million in taxes. The lottery in Nebraska sold $180 million in lottery tickets, with $40 million in tax revenue for the state. Nebraska still ranks in the bottom five in the United States for lottery sales revenue.

In contrast, the state of Iowa, including Council Bluffs, has twenty-four casinos. Most are located along the Mississippi or Missouri rivers. There are some casinos on tribal lands as well. The state also has horse and dog racing, the lottery, and bingo games. The gaming industry brought in over a billion dollars in revenues. Nearly $300 million is paid to the state of Iowa in fees and taxes. As for Ahmed, he won’t be giving the Iowa casinos any more of his—or anyone else’s—money anytime soon. He faces a trial date in 2019. If convicted, Ahmed could spend up to ten years in prison.

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Thomas McCoy was born in Bethesda, Maryland and studied finance at the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington D.C. before heading to New York and a job as a forex trader on Wall Street. Successful enough to launch his own, online forex trading platform, Thomas has long had a keen interest in the places where the worlds of finance and technology meet. As a prolific blogger, Thomas considers himself an expert on cryptocurrencies, casino asset restructuring, and emerging technologies set to change the way people do business.