Jackpot winner kicked out, casino still has to pause winnings

Person handing over cash

A player caught entering a Nevada casino seven times is entitled to his jackpot winnings, according to an NGCB ruling. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Final decision

A player who sneaked back into a casino after being kicked out is entitled to his jackpot winnings, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) said after a 2-1 vote. On Wednesday, the NGCB ordered the Casablanca Resort and Casino in Mesquite to pay $2,045.18 to Rhon Wilson; This is a binding decision and therefore does not require review by the Nevada Gaming Commission.

Appeals process for disputes between casino players

This ruling was the result of an appeals process in a dispute between casino players, which rarely ends in the player’s favor. Many of the complaints the regulator deals with relate to unpaid jackpots due to a slot machine malfunction.

Errors in the rules

Dick Tomasso, vice president of security and government affairs for Casablanca’s parent company, Mesquite Gaming LLC, appeared at the hearing to present his case. Wilson was not present.

It would be more profitable for him to pay a small fine and continue playing

Tomasso claimed Wilson decided it was more profitable for him to pay a small fine and continue playing on the property rather than comply with a ban. Of the board’s decision, he said, “Your action will have a profound impact on all of your licensees in the state of Nevada.” The casino’s case was that Wilson had to commit a crime to place a bet, and that meant he couldn’t should be entitled to any resulting profits.

The company claimed Wilson was caught entering the casino seven times after failing to pay for a drink. Nevertheless, he managed to regain access to the property on a regular basis and won three different jackpots over the course of several months.

Sparkling debate

The NGCB decision will spark debate over whether customers who commit an offense will still be entitled to casino winnings. An NGCB regulatory workshop will be held on October 18 to review the matter.

Board member George Assad sided with Casablanca, saying Nevada’s unwritten policy of always paying out jackpot winnings was not a good approach. Board member Brittnie Watkins and CEO Kirk Hendrick say it’s important for casinos to pay out jackpot winnings even if they go to people who have been convicted of a misdemeanor.


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