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By LVBear

Long-time Las Vegas-based advantage player, casino critic, and frequent 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,

Stratosphere welches on payment to winning patron

The Wizard of Odds was recently victimized by an unethical sportsbook manager at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas. Here is a link to the Wizard’s comments:

Shame on the Stratosphere for using this excuse to stiff a patron. Shame on the Nevada Gaming Control Board for letting casinos get away with arbitrary "expiration dates" of sportsbetting tickets. Assuming what the Wizard wrote is accurate, I think we can put Patrick Rethore in the same category as the creeps who run the Wynn sportsbook. Wynn’s sportsbook has stiffed at least one winner using the "expired ticket" excuse. Terrible’s has done the same. Planet Hollywood now admits that "intelligent bettors" (the exact words of one of its employees) are not allowed to bet there. Stratosphere and its related properties have adopted a similar policy.

Station Casinos tried to intimidate a patron into forgiving a debt. The patron insisted on being paid his winnings; Station paid the bet, then 86′d the patron. Golden Nugget (under previous ownership) tried a couple of years ago to cheat a patron by simply refusing to pay a winning bet. Gaming eventually forced payment and assessed a ridiculously small fine against the Golden Nugget. The Orleans sportsbook has at least twice had to be forced by Gaming to pay winning tickets after it tried to intimidate the winning patron to just go away and not collect his winnings. Neither time was Orleans penalized by Gaming for the attempts to cheat a patron.

Sportsbooks used to be somewhat decent with at least a small bit of integrity and sense of fair play compared to the rest of the casino industry. Some still are run ethically. But sadly, the concept of honorable operations has become foreign to many sportsbook managers, and they wallow in slime along with the other bottom-feeders of the casino industry.

Jeff Haney wrote this interesting
article on the sad attitude and condition of many of Nevada’s sportsbooks.

Shame on Patrick Rethore. the Stratosphere, Wynn, Terrible’s, Golden Nuggget, Station Casinos, Orleans, and all the other sportsbooks who have tried to welch on paying  legitimate winners. Equally shameful is the Gaming Control Board allowing this travesty to continue.

Reno Gaming agent chases and kills apparent dangerous criminal

Having interacted with three or four Reno-area gaming agents, when I first heard this story but didn’t yet know the agent’s name, I thought I knew who it was by the quick, correct, decisive action the particular agent has taken several times when faced with casino wrongdoing. But Agent Hatcher is unknown to me.

If the facts are correctly reported, I consider Agent Hatcher to be a hero. He was about to enjoy his morning coffee, but instead went out of his way to help a stranger, at serious risk to himself. The civilian who helped him should be commended as well. Congratulations to Agent Hatcher and the unnamed truck driver. As a frequent critic of the Gaming Control Board and Nevada law enforcement in general, I find it nice to be able to make a positive comment when deserved.

What a difference between Agent Hatcher and the slimeball Bobby Siller, discussed below.

Another one crosses the line — Ex-regulator Bobby Siller now working in casino industry

Bobby Siller, who became a laughingstock while on the Nevada Gaming Control Board, has apparently received his "golden parachute" in the form of a position of the board of directors of a slot machine manufacturer.

Siller, widely ridiculed for worrying about "Siller Silliness" — the length of girls’ skirts on billboards, for example –  while casinos were committing serious crimes against patrons during his watch, "retired" from his do-nothing job at the Control Board a year ago. Another "regulator" now on the payroll of the industry he was supposed to be regulating! Disgusting.



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