A player who was expelled for a robbery at the CasaBlanca Resort & Casino, a premier gambling destination in Mesquite, Nevada, crawled back in and managed to hit the jackpot on a slot machine, which the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) says the casino has to pay him. Additionally, that decision came after a split vote on October 4.
The regulator ordered the hotel and casino to pay a $2,045,18 jackpot to gambler Rhon Wilson. This ruling is final and not subject to review by the Nevada Gaming Commission. Also, the decision was made in a dispute appeal between the player and the casino. George Assad, one of the Board members, a pensioned Las Vegas Municipal Court judge, dissented the decision in the 2-1 vote.
Decisions on player dispute appeal rarely go in the gambler’s favor. Complaints are usually made about unpaid jackpots that happen when the slot machine is not working.
The hotel-casino pleaded to the board, and a hearing officer suggested the jackpot be paid regardless of the current order barring the gambler from setting foot in the casino.
Wilson allegedly entered the casino without permission in the casino seven times after not paying for his drinks. But each time, he entered the casino again, he hit the jackpot 3 times over the course of few months. Relatedly, the Vice President of Government and Security Affairs for Mesquite Gaming LLC, Dick Tomasso, emerged before the aforementioned Board to explain the complaint. However, Wilson did not attend the meeting, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Moreover, the ruling is projected to spark a policy discussion about if individuals who commit wrongdoing should be permitted to accumulate casino winnings. The Gaming Control Board is projected to hold a regulatory workshop on October 18, which is projected to address whether gamblers like Wilson should be winning money.
Restraining order breach:
Throughout public comment, Tomasso explained to the NGCB that it was more beneficial for Wilson to pay the fine for violation and proceed gambling than to comply with the restraining order.
In this regard, Tomasso told the regulator: “Your action will have a profound effect on all your licensees in the state of Nevada. Mr. Wilson was continually violating the trespass statute, seven times to be exact. He found it more profitable to pay a small fine and then return to the casino to gamble, knowing that the gaming enforcement policy would allow him to keep his winnings as they did three previous times he was caught violating the trespass statute. But before you decide on a course of action, please understand this. Mesquite Gaming has never disputed Nevada gaming enforcement’s authority and legal rights to require casinos pay out winnings for banned individuals. We’ve never disputed that. What we contend is that the gaming enforcement also has the authority and legal rights to deny banned individuals from coming for their winnings based simply on the fact that this banned individual broke the law when he entered a casino, he was still breaking the law while he was gaming. So he had to commit a crime in order to place a wager.”
Assad commented: “It’s clear Nevada’s unwritten policy for paying winnings to anybody who gets a jackpot isn’t necessarily good policy.”
In addition, Board member Brittnie Watkins and Board Chairman Kirk Hendrick, said: “It was more important for licensees to pay jackpots, even if they were convicted of a misdemeanor.”