A magician who stole large sums of money from US casinos faces a lifetime ban in Nevada. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Given the black book
A magician has used his talents to extort tens of thousands of dollars from casinos across the US. Shaun Joseph Benward now faces a lifetime ban from Nevada gambling establishments since the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) nominated him for inclusion in the state’s “Black Book” on Wednesday.
Benward has cheated at casinos across the country
Anyone who is on the exclusion list may never enter a casino again. Michael Somps, Assistant Attorney General for the Gaming Division of the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, presented the facts about the 36-year-old magician ahead of the official nomination, explaining that Benward had used the same scam to cheat at casinos across the country.
A notorious scammer
Benward’s signature trick is to have roulette dealers distracted by an accomplice. The magician uses his spell to win over the associate and then tries to place a bet late in the round. As the ball comes to rest, Benward tries to convince the croupier that he accidentally placed his chips on the wrong number.
The accomplice would then confirm the story. Sometimes the croupier allowed the bet, sometimes the Mississippian native got caught.
on gambling exclusion lists in Michigan, Missouri and Pennsylvania
Benward is notable for having already been banned from gambling in Michigan, Missouri and Pennsylvania. He has also been arrested and convicted of fraud in Rhode Island, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada.
Benward met all four law enforcement criteria for a possible disqualification, including violating a court order to stay away from casinos and having a notorious reputation.
A long track record in the state
Somps explained in his presentation that 17 casinos in Benward state have ditched, most recently a property in Lake Tahoe this year. The next step is for the Nevada Gaming Commission to hold a formal vote on adding the wizard to the Black Book. However, there is no indication of when this might happen.
Benward may hold a hearing before the vote to present his case. The NGCB informed him of the nomination ahead of Wednesday’s meeting, but he was not present.
NGCB Chairman Kirk Hendrick believes the magician “is an excellent candidate for someone not allowed to be involved in or enter Nevada’s gaming establishments beyond slot machines.”