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Crown and Anchor was lucrative, says accused

A man accused of possessing more than $300,000 in “dirty money” has told jurors how he could earn tens of thousands of dollars by operating Crown and Anchor tables.

Kenith Bulford said he had won “a lot of money” over the years by running Crown and Anchor boards at county cricket games as well as Cup Match.

Mr Bulford, along with two women, were detained at the airport on March 5, 2013 after Police discovered $315,000 in American currency in the women’s bags, which had been hidden in the soles of shoes. A further $10,000 was found in Mr Bulford’s jacket pocket and in his luggage.

Prosecutors say that the cash was the proceeds of crime.

Yesterday Mr Bulford, 40, took the stand and told the jury that he worked as a fisherman and also operated Crown and Anchor tables at cricket matches between 2006 and 2011.

He said he had grown up in Somerset and lived on a boat moored off Public Wharf at the end of Cambridge Road in Sandys.

Asked by his lawyer, Larry Mussenden, how much he had earned from Crown and Anchor tables, Mr Bulford replied: “A lot; a very lot of money.”

Mr Bulford said: “I can make between $5,000 and $10,000 in a day at a county game and if it’s a final, I can make up to $15,000. That is profit.

“For Cup Match, I can make up to $50,000 from a board — and that would be for both days.”

Mr Bulford explained how Crown and Anchor board operators paid a fee to run a table and the jury was shown receipts of where and when he had worked and what fee he had paid.

He told the court that the majority of the time he operated a “no-limit policy” on his tables, where people could bet as much as they wanted.

“The majority of the time it is the banker or owner of the table that wins,” Mr Bulford said.

“Ninety per cent of the time I win. There are other operators that will take big bets and some that will have limits. People know which tables are the high-rolling tables.”

Asked by Mr Mussenden what kind of people played Crown and Anchor and what kind of currency was used, Mr Bulford said: “Bermudians, tourists, foreigners employed in Bermuda — all walks of life. I would take any currency. If you come with Canadian dollars, I would take that. If you come with US dollars, I would take that; Bermudian dollars, I would take that, and European currency and pounds.

“I would hold on to my foreign currency so I was putting Bermuda money out. I would encourage people to bet US on my board, so if they put $100 US I would put $10 on top of it.

“That is a way I would keep people on my board, keep them spending and get their money.”

Mr Bulford said he also provided financial incentives for women to encourage them to bet on his table.

“That is a way of keeping ladies around because when the ladies are around, the men seem to spend more,” he added.

The jury heard that Mr Bulford had won $42,000 on two bets he had placed at Seahorses betting shop, where he correctly predicted a final score and a scorer in football matches.

Mr Bulford told the court that he also earned money from fishing and selling his catch to locals and tourists,

“Sometimes I put the money in the bank, other times in a safe place,” he said.

The jury had previously heard that when Mr Bulford was arrested for the second time in connection with the cash seized at the airport, he had the keys to a property on Cambridge Road, where police discovered a ballistics vest and a CCTV system.

Asked by Mr Mussenden whether he knew the property, Mr Bulford said: “Yes, I know the residence. It is a residence where a friend of mine lives.

“It is not my residence. I have been there on several occasions and I have slept there.

“There was my driver’s licence and documents found there and some items I had left there. I don’t recall putting them in the dresser drawer, but it is possible that I did.”

Mr Bulford denies two charges of possessing the proceeds of crime.

The trial continues.

*It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases.