Monday, May 24, 2010

Do Legal US Gambling Casinos and Poker Rooms Ever Cheat You? Before I Say "No" Read This!

South Dakota Casino Sites "Poker-Cheating Collusion" Rule to Avoid Paying or "Cheat" Nine Poker Players Out of a Jackpot!

We have heard various times about casinos voiding out slot-machine jackpots or refusing to pay them for one reason or another, usually claiming that the slot machine malfunctioned and the resulting jackpot was due to faulty computer chips...or something like that. But this is the first time I have heard about a poker room inside a legitimate casino refusing to pay a Bad-Beat Jackpot because it accused the entire table of poker cheating collusion to make sure that the bad-beat held intact. In my opinion, and probably in yours after you read the following account of what happened, this casino, the Royal River Casino in Flandreau, South Dakota, is full of shit and IS actually cheating these players out of $96,000.

KSFY Action News Article:

Nine poker players say they have been cheated out of a $96,000 dollar jackpot by the Royal River Casino in Flandreau, after the casino enforced a rule it says is necessary but the players say it should not have applied in this situation.

"Nine good people took the brunt of what one person did." Bill Williams says he's one of the nine people who lost out of a $96,000 poker jackpot. He claims a drunk man he didn't even know spoke two words that cost the rest of the table nearly a hundred grand. "We know he was out in lala land. He didn't know where he was at. He didn't even know he was at a poker table and yet he caused the pain and suffering of nine South Dakota people to lose $96,000."

Bill says the casino refused to pay out the jackpot because the rule 'no speaking of the bad beat' was broken. "The two words were the collusion rule that means you can't speak of the bad beat. Well, bad beat and saying bad beat and speaking of the bad beat are all different."

When the players took the case to tribal court, Bill says their judge was the tribal judge appointed by the Flandreau Tribe and was the prior lawyer for Flandreau. He calls it a fix from the beginning. "If they don't want to settle it, it's never going to end. We've got to put it behind us. All of us."

Royal River is owned and operated by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. The poker players who stood to win the $96,000 jackpot have argued their case to the tribal gaming commission and the tribal courts. Each time, the casino has come out on top. Royal River's acting general manager says that's because the casino followed the rules, which he says are clearly displayed.

The rule he points to is: Poker players cannot talk during a game, no if's and's or but's.

"My heart and everybody's heart feels bad that it did happen but we did have to follow the rules and regs on it," (Gimme a break!) says Jackie Barse, the acting general manager at Royal River. She says the "no talking" rule is in place to make sure players don't work together and put other players at a disadvantage.

In poker, it all comes down to that one card or that one trend. In this case, the casino says one player mumbled that a player was close to winning, which violates the rules. "We have nothing to lose or nothing to gain except to make the rules were played right."

As far as the casino is concerned, now that this case has gone through the tribal court system it is over and done. But there could be legal action involving player, Bill Williams, who has established a blog and a web site criticizing Royal River. "It's like a hate crime so, I'll never pay him nor would the tribe."

My Take: Sure, the casino is "technically" following the rules, but at times, especially if a casino wants to maintain good public relations with its clientele, it has got to bend a bit when it is clearly obvious that no cheating intensions were involved in a jackpot or any other players-winning incident.

Shame on these South Dakotan hick casino operators!