Friday, January 22, 2010

Delaware Seems Confused About How to Deal with Poker and Casino Cheating. Is That an Open Invitation to Cheats?

For those of you unaware, casino table games will soon be gracing the State of Delaware's racetracks and casino gambling facilities. A bill has recently passed the Senate Judiciary Committee clearing the way for blackjack, craps, poker, roulette, baccarated and all the other table games you see in Vegas and Atlantic City. The same bill also delineates what constitutes cheating on table games and sets the criminal punishment for cheating the table games.

In an article by Doug Denison for the Sussex Countian, he writes, "the bill, which already prohibits the use or possession of “plugs” and other devices used to play slot machines without depositing money, also outlaws marked cards and loaded dice. In addition, it bans any electronic or mechanical device that could be used to count cards or assist the user or another person in counting cards.

Penalties for breaking the law would be calculated according the amount of money the cheater is able to amass while cheating and treated as theft. Ill-gotten winnings totaling less than $1,500 would earn the cheater a class A misdemeanor charge while higher amounts garner felony charges.

Sen. Harris B. McDowell III, D-Wilmington North, said the bill didn’t offer enough protection to casino customers, especially those with the math smarts to increase their odds at the blackjack table. “In some places card counting is considered a skill,” he said. “I am a little concerned that I don’t see the same strenuous effort to make sure the house can’t cheat the consumer.”

McDowell also took issue with a provision that would allow casinos immunity from prosecution for detaining and questioning suspected cheaters. “I’m a little uncomfortable with blanket immunity,” he said.

Mike Barlow, the governor’s legal counsel, said that portion of the bill is based on language from Nevada law and casinos who round up and hold cheaters are only immune from prosecution if the circumstances are reasonable. “It’s intended to be a qualified immunity,” he said. “If the person is acting unreasonable, the immunity can be overcome.”

My take: It all seems a bit confusing to me, but the part I like from a poker and casino cheat's perspective is that any cheating amassing less than $1,500 would be dealt with as a misdemeanor when the cheats get caught. In Las Vegas, any cheating amassing one penny is a felony!

So, if you fancy cheating Delaware's table games, which should be as ripe as a plump mango when they open, keep your moves underneath that felony umbrella of $1,500. That shouldn't be hard to do!!!