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Blackjack Insider Newsletter, March 2005, #62


By LVBear

Las Vegas blackjack player, casino critic, and frequent contributor LVBear offers his opinions on things that sometimes go wrong in the world of casinos. He can be reached at

The Bear Growls: Gaming Control Board Embarrasses Nevada Again

The Golden Nugget attempted to cheat a patron out of $48,600.  The Nevada Gaming Control board levied a fine of only $30,000 for this incident, outlined in the news story linked below.  No casino employee has gone to jail for attempting to cheat the patron. The fine is so absurd that it's laughable.  The do-nothing, worthless Nevada Gaming Control Board should be disbanded and all its employees fired from the public payroll.  And, abandoning any pretense of fairness, our governor has appointed a Caesars attorney to the Board. As a Nevada taxpayer, I am outraged that I have to pay to support these folks. I am rarely at a loss for words, but this small fine and this appointment are so ridiculous there is nothing else I can think of to say.  These actions speak for themselves.

Links to stories referenced above:

The Bear Growls: Government corruption and selective enforcement -- no prosecution of casino employees, but harassment of other businesses

I am not a lawyer, and do not know all the fine points of law that may be involved in decisions to prosecute or not prosecute wrongdoers who commit violent acts against others. But as a layman, it appears clear that casinos, the favored industry in Nevada, manage to avoid prosecution for identical acts alleged against others who don't get the "free pass" -- in this case people whose businesses the casinos possibly would like to take over.

For ten years, the federal government and its allies in state and local government have been harassing a strip club, Crazy Horse Too. I have never been there, and have no personal knowledge of what goes on there. If the individuals are guilty of what they are accused of, I am certainly not defending their conduct. But from published reports, it sounds like what casinos routinely do to skilled patrons. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal stories linked below.

"For years, the management and 'security' staff of the Crazy Horse has been infested by a rogues' gallery of thugs, thieves, drug pushers, and corrupt ex-cops," ...

The indictment against D'Apice focuses on allegations that he and others at the strip club have used force to compel customers to pay disputed charges. The racketeering charge accuses D'Apice of committing extortion, robbery and kidnapping at the business.

This sounds like a casino security department to me.

Depending on the patron and other circumstances, the shift manager or other male employees regularly sought to extort or rob payment from patrons through explicit or implicit threats of violence, and through actual use of force and physical violence against patrons," the indictment states.

This sounds just like what casino thugs and their compliant, subservient cronies at the Gaming Control Board routinely do.

Jack Sheehan, author of "Skin City: Uncovering the Las Vegas Sex Industry," said he thinks law enforcement's recent scrutiny of strip clubs has been influenced by the owners of Strip megaresorts. He said resorts are poised to bring such clubs out of the industrial parks and onto the Strip after years of watching millions of tourist dollars siphoned into strip clubs.

Now I understand why the strip club operators are being harassed.

Shortly before 1 p.m., shift manager Robert "Bobby" D'Apice pulled his silver Cadillac sedan into the parking lot of the club on Industrial Road. Federal agents who had been staking out the club immediately surrounded D'Apice and ordered him to the ground at gunpoint. They then handcuffed him and bundled him into the rear of an unmarked car.

Why was this necessary? Why not quietly arrest Mr. D'Apice at his home? Why risk hurting innocent bystanders with stupid, unnecessary gunplay in a public place? Did they really think this high-profile defendant was going to run away? Ridiculous.

Why no arrests and prosecutions of the casino goons who assaulted and kidnapped (blackjack players) Mr. Grosjean or Mr. Cagno, and committed crimes against Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Bernier, and many others who have been victimized by casino employees and/or corrupt Gaming Control Board agents? I think we know the reason. Though the strip clubs give plenty of money and favors to local politicians, the casinos give even more. And the casinos give cushy jobs to "retired" law enforcement personnel to pay them back for years of overlooking crimes committed against patrons by casino employees and by law enforcement officers.

Shame on the grandstanding, corrupt law enforcement agencies and the corrupt politicians who control them.


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