Monday, September 22, 2008

2009 World Game Protection Conference...More Smoke And Mirrors

For the second year in a row, the keynote speaker at the World Game Protection Conference in Las Vegas has absolutely nothing to do with casino game protection. And to boot, next year’s 2009 edition boasts two irrelevant speakers for the price of one! Last year, Dr. Edward O. Thorp, author of the 1960 book “Beat the Dealer,” was the event’s headliner. True, Dr. Thorp’s book was revolutionary at the time, but “at the time” was nearly half a century ago! I would guess that maybe three percent of the 2008 World Game Protection Conference attendees were alive when Thorp and his book were relevant to the casino industry.

For 2009, the WGPC is going with more glitz, or should I say “glitter gulch” as downtown Las Vegas used to be called. The two keynote speakers will be two guys from the MIT Blackjack Team, on which the popular Kevin Spacey film “21” is based. Great, the movie was entertaining if not real, and if you want more of it, you can read Ben Mezrich’s book “Bringing Down the House”… But the 2009 World Game Protection Conference? Gimme a break! What are these guys going to teach you, casino personnel, about game protection? They’re just card counters, and their presence there is all smoke and mirrors, nothing more than glitter to attract you at a thousand bucks a seat. All they can talk about is card counting and card counting is hardly a threat to casinos, as perennial WGPC speaker and table games guru Jeff Murphy wrote in Willy Allison’s “Catwalk” Newsletter a few months back. So why bring in the MIT Blackjack Geeks as your main speakers? The answer is obvious: Because they will sell more tickets. But is there really any substance?

I was the keynote speaker at the 2007 World Game Protection Conference. For those of you who saw my presentation there, you know at least that what I had to say was relevant to your casino’s bottom line. I was not there to play off the hype of a big-hit movie but rather to show you how casino cheats attack your casinos. What are the MIT guys going to show you? How to count cards? Murphy, Bill Zender, Bob Del Rossi and other “perennial” WGPC speakers have already taught you that…countless times!

Also, you will notice that I have never been invited back to the World Game Protection Conference like Murphy, Zender and Del Rossi. I think I know why: Because I speak the truth about what goes on in the casino cheating world…and about the World Game Protection Conference.

So, please…save your casino some money. Instead of shelling out that grand per person to hear the MIT guys rant about their exploits, use a fraction of it to have me come out to your casino and teach your casino and surveillance personnel REAL game protection.

More Casino Cheats Busted At Connecticut Mohegan Sun!

Widening Casino Cheat Crackdown Continues At Mohegan Sun in Connecticut!
More Dealers Caught Cheating With Outside Players.

First it was illegal gambling operations outside of the casinos, now it is the illegal gambling operations inside the casinos. Whichever is taking place, authorities are trying to stop the illegal activity.

In the past month, police have been cracking down around the country on illegal operations that are taking place within casinos. Most of the operations involved casino workers who were working with outside people to rob the casinos.

The latest arrests have come in Connecticut at the Mohegan Sun. The casino confirmed that six people have been arrested for cheating the casino at the blackjack table. One of the people arrested was a dealer at the casino.

Rory Shaffer of Plainfield was busted on surveillance at the casino giving two men money at the blackjack table that did not belong to them. He was arrested along with Samuel Pierce.

Three others were also charged with sixth degree larceny for taking less than $250 that was not theirs from a dealer at the blackjack tables. Shaffer and Pierce were charged with first degree larceny, cheating while gambling, and conspiracy to commit first degree larceny.

Several of the men have been released on bonds ranging from $500 to $1,000. They will all have to appear in Norwich Superior Court on October 2nd.

Slot Cheat Makes Nevada Black Book

A convicted slot machine cheat became the 36th name on the state's List of Excluded Persons, commonly known as the Black Book, and the first new member since 2004.

The Nevada Gaming Commission took about 15 minutes Thursday to confirm the nomination of William Cushing to the Black Book, legally barring him from entering a licensed Nevada casino. Cushing, who was indicted by a Clark County grand jury in 007 for slot machine cheating, did not appear in his defense even though the state attorney general's office said he was notified of the hearing. Commissioners made no comments about the nomination following a 10-minute presentation by Chief Deputy Attorney General Michael Somps. Most of the discussion centered on reciting the Nevada Revised Statues covering the Black Book.

Cushing spent time in federal prison in the 1980s for gambling-related cheating convictions against several Strip casinos. He was also convicted of cheating violations in Clark County in the 1990s. Somps said the convicted slot machine cheat met three criteria under Nevada law for inclusion on the list, including felony convictions and having a notorious reputation. Somps made a similar presentation in May when the Gaming Control Board nominated Cushing for inclusion.

Two of Cushing's associates, who were convicted with him in federal court in 1985, are Black Book members John and Sandra Vaccaro.

Commission Chairman Pete Bernhard, speaking for the five-member panel, said Cushing met the qualifications for nomination. The board voted unanimously for inclusion.
Cushing's inclusion was the first since 2004, when two other convicted slot machine cheats were added to the list.

The Black Book now contains 36 names that date back to the 1960s and 1970s, when organized crime controlled Nevada's casino industry. The only way a person can be removed from the list is by dying. The law was set up to prohibit people with felony convictions against the gaming industry from entering a casino. It's considered a gross misdemeanor if someone from the List of Excluded Persons enters a gaming establishment. Casino executives can also face disciplinary action from Nevada gaming regulators if they knowingly allow a member of the Black Book to enter the property.