Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rookie Casinos Overzealous in Busting Casino Cheats Getting in Trouble With the Law!

I have been blogging about new casinos in Pennsylvania, Delaware and other areas overzealously arresting casino cheats (in some case over $5), and now this practice appears to have jumped up and bitten one of these new casinos on the nose.

Derek Maple, a 27 year-old former blackjack dealer at the Mardi Gras Racing and Casino near Charleston, West Virginia, has sued the casino and two state agencies for false arrest, alleging they falsely accused him of cheating while dealing his blackjack game. He is also suing the casino, the West Virginia State Police and the Virginia Lottery Commission for civil rights violations, false imprisonment, mental anguish and damage to his reputation, self-esteem, among other things.

Back in September, 2009, the Mardi Gras casino and state police accused Maple of voluntarily revealing his hole card to players at his blackjack table. He was later arrested and booked, and at a preliminary hearing the charges were passed over to a grand jury for indictment. But the grand jury never indicted, and since a year had passed, the case was automatically dismissed under West Virginia law, opening up the door for Maple to sue, whether or not he was actually guilty of the casino-cheating charges. Maple is seeking unspecified damages, but to me it sounds like a lot! Probably millions.

And this is not the first false-arrest/civil rights-violation suit against the Mardi Gras casino and West Virgina state police over a casino case. A woman named Thuhuong Nguyen also filed suit last January, alleging she was wrongly arrested for cheating at gaming. Cheating charges against her were dropped after a review of video surveillance. The casino had accused her of being an accomplice of Maple in the hole-card cheat scam.

My take: You've all heard the poker saying "...gotta know when to hold 'em...know when to fold 'em," right? Well, these casinos gotta "know when to hold 'em...know when to let 'em go," right?

You bet