Sunday, July 15, 2018

Harrah's New Orleans Card-Counting Scuffle Turns into Federal Lawsuit

Harrah's New Orleans
We first saw it in the movies.

Remember the scene in Martin Scorsese's "Casino" where the two blackjack hole-carders get dragged into the back room and one of them gets his hand crushed with a hammer?

Then came the famous Las Vegas wrongful-imprisonment lawsuit filed by renowned card-counter James Grosjean against the Imperial Palace, Caesars Palace and Griffin Investigation, where Grosjean was awarded $400,000 by a Las Vegas district judge after being roughed up and sent off to the Las Vegas city jail.

Well, apparently not all casinos have learned the lesson about not roughing-up and illegally detaining card-counters and advantage players, who by plying their crafts in casinos are not breaking the law.

This new card-counting/alleged false imprisonment scenario is playing out at Harrah's New Orleans casino. In this case, Justin Grant and Jordan Kerr, two self-proclaimed professional card counters, say they were assaulted, handcuffed, illegally detained and threatened with long prison sentences over the card-counting accusations, all of which their complaint says caused them grievous emotional distress and embarrassment.

They have filed a federal lawsuit against several employees of the casino and the Orleans Parish Sheriffs Office, whose officers put the handcuffs on the two accused gamblers.

The complaint also says that Grant and Kerr repeatedly notified the casino authorities that card-counting and advantage-play (any form of legal play-strategy that gives the player a statistical advantage over the casino) are not illegal, which they argue shows that the authorities knew indeed they could not charge either with any crime yet they still told them it was criminal because it was against the casino's policy, perhaps a ruse to get them to somehow cop out to a crime.

No charges were filed.

My take: This is a very stupid action taken by (a) the casino, whose employees should have known better, and (b) the Orleans Parish Sheriffs Office, who officers obviously didn't.