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By LVBear

Long-time Las Vegas-based advantage player, casino critic, and frequent Blackjack Insider contributor LVBear offers his opinions on things that sometimes go wrong in the world of casinos.  Current and past growls can be read, and comments posted, at LVBear's website,


Federal Jury Awards $729,000 to Victim of Patron Abuse

A federal jury returned a verdict totaling over $729,000 in a case involving the abuse of a patron by security personnel at Tunica痴 Hollywood Casino and a deputy of the Tunica County Sheriff痴 office.

The victim, who was suspected of counting cards, a lawful activity, but not suspected of any illegal activity, was wrongfully detained by Hollywood Casino employees, who instructed cashiers to refuse to cash the victim痴 chips unless the victim provided them with his identification.

The victim refused to do so and asked to be paid so that he could leave the casino.  Instead, casino employees called the Sheriff痴 department.  Deputy Dornae Mosby responded and demanded identification from the victim, who complied with the deputy痴 request but instructed the deputy not to show the identification to casino personnel.  The deputy ignored this instruction, and allowed casino personnel to take possession of the victim痴 identification and photocopy it, despite there being no legal basis for so doing.  The victim was arrested by Mosby for disorderly conduct.  The charge was subsequently dismissed.

The victim sued Hollywood casino, Tunica County, and Deputy Mosby.  The jury awarded him $25,000 from Deputy Mosby individually for the violation of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures.  The jury found the casino liable for false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, conversion, and trespass to chattels.  The final two items involve the wrongful taking of plaintiff痴 identification by casino personnel.  The jury awarded $103,703 in damages to the victim from the casino, plus punitive damages of $600,550.


The above summary of the case and jury verdict against Hollywood Casino in Tunica and an apparently corrupt sheriff痴 deputy speaks for itself.  There is nothing I can add, except my thanks to the jury for doing the right thing.

Will casinos ever learn?

Case:  US District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Delta Division -- Civil Action No. 2:06CV204P-A   Grosch v. Tunica County et al.


County Sherri痴 Office Refuses to Get Involved in Criminal Abuse of Patron by Casino

A friend was recently accosted by casino guards and physically forced into the backroom of Fantasy Springs Casino near Indio, CA. His cell phone was grabbed from his grasp by casino guards while he was trying to call 911 for help, and he was subsequently handcuffed. The thugs eventually released him.

The victim tried to file a crime report with the Riverside County Sheriff痴 Office, but was told he had to speak with the tribal gaming commission, even though the Riverside County Sheriff has criminal jurisdiction over this Indian casino. The sheriff痴 office refused to recognize that a crime was committed against the player, stating that the Indians "probably made card counting a crime," which of course is nonsense. How can it be a crime to think?

Under the Sheriff痴 reasoning, the victim then would have allegedly committed a crime by thinking, so the casino thugs were justified in detaining him. Of course, even if thinking had in fact been outlawed in this casino, the fact that the thugs descended upon him within minutes of his arrival precluded anyone there from making a valid determination that he was counting cards in their casino. But that didn稚 matter to the sheriff痴 office. Mind boggling.

Laughlin Lacks Customers; It痴 Casino Managers Lack Common Sense

At many Laughlin casinos, at least half the pit was closed on a recent Saturday evening. Dealers are complaining about working only two days a week. Two casinos have lowered most table limits to a puny $100. Games throughout town are now mostly garbage, except for the Riverside, which is holding steady. The Riverside, the last place in Laughlin to offer decent value to average patrons as well as to brain-using patrons, appears to have the most customers by far. Imagine that.

Laughlin was built as a "good value" alternative to Las Vegas. It has forgotten the reason for its existence and former popularity, except Riverside. There is no good reason to patronize most of the other places, which have become outright burn joints. Golden Nugget dealers now suffer from shuffling disease, rivaling the dump next door, Pioneer. Edgewater and Colorado Belle痴 games are so awful I felt like I should take a shower after walking through there. Both have converted their double decks to 6 to 5 ripoff. Tropicana is scared of its own shadow. River Palms is worthless. Harrah痴 is, well, Harrah痴 not much more to add. Aquarius might accidentally offer a playable game here and there, but is profusely sweaty, and certainly not worth a trip to Laughlin. Avi is now a joke, with $100 maximums and hardly any customers. Routine maintenance appears to have been deferred, probably as a cost-cutting measure.

Laughlin used to be my favorite casino locale. Now, with the notable exception of the Riverside, the whole place could slide into the Colorado River and it would be no loss. Sad. RIP, Laughlin.


Gaming Commission Board Wastes Public Resources Over Nine Dollars

According to this news story, a dealer at the Cal-Neva, a nasty low-roller dump in downtown Reno, is accused of stealing nine dollars from the casino.  I am certainly not condoning theft, but let's keep it in perspective. If an average citizen accused another average citizen of stealing nine dollars, the police would probably laugh and not even take a report. But because a casino is the victim, no public expense is spared. What a ridiculous waste of public resources. Assuming they are guilty, the crooked dealers should be fired, but involving a public agency in something so petty? Come on, be serious. The Gaming Control Board should have higher priorities, like protecting PATRONS from casino wrongdoing.  The Venetian cheaters got away scot-free, but their employer was fined a million dollars.  What they did was far worse than what these low-level employees in Reno are accused of doing.  Why the difference in enforcement action taken?  And why doesn't the board go after the thugs who have committed violent crimes against patrons? Oh, I see.  When casino thugs assault patrons, the casino is not the victim, so the crimes are ignored.  But for nine dollars allegedly stolen from Cal-Neva, thousands of taxpayer dollars will be wasted.  The Gaming Control Board should be ashamed of itself.

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