Three Card Monte - Christmas 2014

Three Card Monte – Christmas 2014

Anthony Riniti on Friday, January 2nd, 2015 Comments Off on Three Card Monte – Christmas 2014

Three-card Monte Scam Artists Return to Midtown

cards1By Philip Messing and Steve Cuozzo    December 26, 2014 | 1:21am

Modal Trigger   Three-card monte scam artists return to midtown     Photo: Anne Wermiel (2)

Is this Christmas 2014 — or 1974?

A stark reminder of New York City’s bad old days appeared on the streets of Manhattan Thursday , as three-card monte dealers turned out in force on Fifth Avenue.

An army of the shady gamblers — offering both crooked card and shell games — set up between West 53rd and 56th streets, fleecing Christmas tourists like hapless rubes in an old-time movie.

“My husband is pissed!” fumed one woman, just moments after her spouse dropped $500 to a team of scammers on 56th Street off Fifth Avenue near Henri Bendel on Thursday.


Her husband, who lost several $100 wagers as part of a shell game, huffed, “It’s a waste of time!” before storming away.

He was too sheepish to demand his money back from the dealers, whose associates stood watch over their box-top game boards.

Decades ago, “three-card monte” hustlers were a frequent nuisance around Midtown. But such hustlers were sent into retirement thanks to a crackdown by the NYPD.

Modal TriggerOn Thursday, The Post spotted six crews dealing the rigged games. When a reporter got too close to one of the operators in the middle of a round of cards, his thuggish partner threw a hard elbow as a signal to get back.

When asked about the game, none of the dealers would talk. One just said that “business is good.”

Most losers walked away with their heads bowed and not even a lump of coal for their stocking.

One visitor from Washington, DC, was philosophical about losing.

“That was an interesting one,” he said, gesturing to his teenage son. “I taught him something.”