mrjack9
mrjack9
Joined: May 18, 2011
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September 14th, 2011 at 7:16:57 PM permalink
Hey folks. Looking for your feedback and/or opinion about the recent experience I had with the Encore security staff and a rep from the Gaming Control Board.

I was staying at the Encore with a group of friends, and was playing blackjack around 3am on a Friday morning. I was betting black chips and was near the top of my usual bet spread 50-500. I had a 400 bet on the table and was dealt hard 11 against a dealer 9 or 10. I doubled down and received a 9. The dealer drew to 20. The dealer paid me on the bet (a push) and I took the chips without saying a word.

I've been paid many times by dealers in error, and when the dealer noticed it (rarely) they have never asked for the money back. On this occasion, the dealer realized what she had done (ie paid me 800 dollars in error) and asked for the pit boss to come over before dealing the next hand.

Here is where it gets a bit crazy. I honestly did not know at the time how much I had bet on the hand, as I had instinctively shuffled my checks into my stack after being paid.

The pit boss asked me to return the bet, but did not know how much to ask for. I asked them to review the tapes and show me how much I had bet and offered to return that amount. They said no and asked for 200 dollars. I asked to speak to the manager, still not sure how much was correct and/or fair.

After about 30 minutes (I agreed to sit and wait and NOT play during this time), the security manager came over with 2 HUGE security guards and announced that I owed them 800 dollars. They claimed to have reviewed the tapes. I asked to see some evidence of this and offered to return the money if they showed me the same tapes. I agreed, and stated, that I was paid some money in error, but needed something stronger than a verbal statement before handing over hundreds of dollars. I admitted that I had been drinking all night and my short term memory was at this point terrible.

I was offered two choices: leave the property and don't come back (they said they would pursue a charge of theft if I did), or come with them to the back room and wait for an agent from the GCB. I was staying at the hotel, and had booked 5 rooms for me and my friends through my casino host, so leaving was not really an option.

While in the back room, I was asked to sit on a bench fitted with restraints (I chose to remain standing), I was not permitted to make a phone call using my cell phone, and I was told repeatedly that I was being detained under suspicion of theft from the casino.

When the GCB agent arrived (Robert Nichol or Robert Nickle, I believe), he gave me two options: leave now and the casino may go to the police to try to obtain a warrant for my arrest, or give up 800 dollars to be held in escrow until the GCB reviews the tapes. He said the GCB has 30 days to make a decision, and if he/they believe that I was paid in error they will award the "error" to the Encore. He said "the most I can award them is 800, as that is their claim". If you only bet 50, you will get the difference back.

So I gave up the 800 and 30 days later received a really nice letter from Robert stating that the casinos claim was correct and the 800 dollars was theirs to keep.

My host won't return my calls now, but I still get nice offers from the Wynn/Encore for free rooms and decent comps via email.
EvenBob
EvenBob
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
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September 14th, 2011 at 7:23:24 PM permalink
Quote: mrjack9

So I gave up the 800 and 30 days later received a really nice letter from Robert stating that the casinos claim was correct and the 800 dollars was theirs to keep.



Of course. It was a foregone conclusion. They had
you as soon as you said you didn't know the amount.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
pacomartin
pacomartin
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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September 14th, 2011 at 7:28:20 PM permalink
Quote: mrjack9

The pit boss asked me to return the bet, but did not know how much to ask for. I asked them to review the tapes and show me how much I had bet and offered to return that amount. They said no and asked for 200 dollars.



My guess was they were trying to offer you a polite deal. If you pay $200 they won't go through the trouble of trying to throttle the full $800 out of you. The point was made, but they would take the lion's share of the loss. Why did you refuse? Were you honestly that confused that you didn't remember doubling down? I can't believe that you didn't realize at the time, that $200 was a deal. It sounds like your greed got the better of you.
mrjack9
mrjack9
Joined: May 18, 2011
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September 14th, 2011 at 7:31:17 PM permalink
Hey paco - you hit the nail on the head, I think. Thanks for the feedback and insight. That's why the drinks are free, eh?
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
Joined: Aug 31, 2010
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September 14th, 2011 at 7:41:24 PM permalink
I'm not a pit boss, but if I had been for that incident, here's how I would have handled it. Given that you had already acknowledged that you were mistakenly paid and had offered to return the funds, I would have done the following:
1) Offered you the choice to keep playing while surveillance cues up the tapes, as long as you sign a marker for $1000 with an assertion from me that any overage will be refunded in chips.
2) If you accept, you keep playing with the chips you have. When you take a break, you come to surveillance and we watch the tapes together. We both see it's $800 and you get $200 back, then owe $1000 on the marker. Net result is you owe the house $800, which was what you offered in the first place.
3) If you reject, we handle it as you described with you not playing, but that's a bad outcome from my standpoint because you're not playing = I'm not making money. Except when I have the surveillance manager come over, he has screen captures of the tape in his hand. At that point, presumably you hand over the $800 as promised.

I would never have threatened you with a theft charge if, as you say, you had already offered to repay the overpayment. Chances are Encore has just lost a black-chip bettor, and that's a grievous error in judgment. Unless, of course, you can forgive them -- or perhaps suggest that they should persuade you to come back with a very conciliatory offer. If you're interested in further patronizing the Encore, I'd write a letter.

If you had instead smirked at me and attempted to leave with the overpayment, that's when you get backroomed. But it seems to me that you were just a drunk guy trying to have a good time and not shoot angles, and that's not something I'd want to discourage -- you're exactly the kind of player I want in my casino. Your value to my business is too great to play hardball with you unless you're actually a crook.

But again, I'm not a pit boss.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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September 14th, 2011 at 7:42:55 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

My guess was they were trying to offer you a polite deal. If you pay $200 they won't go through the trouble of trying to throttle the full $800 out of you. The point was made, but they would take the lion's share of the loss. Why did you refuse? Were you honestly that confused that you didn't remember doubling down? I can't believe that you didn't realize at the time, that $200 was a deal. It sounds like your greed got the better of you.


I think that's right, but he may have been too inebriated to realize that at the time. I still wouldn't have backroomed him unless he were being uncooperative, which doesn't seem to be the case.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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September 14th, 2011 at 11:14:26 PM permalink
Quote: mrjack9

Here is where it gets a bit crazy. I honestly did not know at the time how much I had bet on the hand, as I had instinctively shuffled my checks into my stack after being paid.
I asked them to review the tapes and show me how much I had bet and offered to return that amount. They said no and asked for 200 dollars. I asked to speak to the manager, still not sure how much was correct and/or fair.
I agreed, and stated, that I was paid some money in error, but needed something stronger than a verbal statement before handing over hundreds of dollars. I admitted that I had been drinking all night and my short term memory was at this point terrible.



Here is where it gets a bit crazy...
No. You were drinking TOO MUCH. You didn't know what you had bet. You didn't realize you had been offered a quiet, polite and very nice deal on that 200 settlement. You had bet 800 and didn't even know it! You were offered a quiet 600 profit and didn't take it. YOU guaranteed yourself a trip to the backroom because you were drunk.

I doubt those offers will continue.
Face
Administrator
Face
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September 14th, 2011 at 11:49:05 PM permalink
Oh, ME, if only the powers that be had your common sense (or that of an average racoon, even)

Indeed they should have allowed the continuation of play, but I'd leave out the marker part. It's not necessary. Even if the OP squandered all the money currently on him, he'd still be held responsible in the event it was proven. I've seen similar cases where either he's asked to then draw out ATM money later, get a marker later, or told he must pay within X days or a warrant will be issued, but all of these options are LAST steps, not the first course of action. Keep out the drama unless it's needed.

Also, they'd never let a civilian view coverage (at least we wouldn't, we don't let anyone but big-wigs in the room for security reasons). But, conspiracy theories aside, the casino's not going to F* you over just because they can. The more people in on the issue (Gaming Board, Police), the more you can be assured they're not pulling a fast one. If authority is invloved, they're not going to make a rash decision.

The escrow part is strange to me, we don't do that here. In this case, after we confirmed and told TG and the patron refuses, the same steps of pulling aside would probably have been taken. In our case, it would have been on-site police. If TG AND the police say you owe it, rest assured you probably owe it. And although we don't have BIG security guards, they'd be there too. A drunk guy refusing something gets security no matter what, even if he's good natured, simply because you just don't know what'll happen.

Basically, I don't see much of a problem with this scenario. You are absolutely entitled to protect yourself, and the casino acted pretty much by the book. A little more tact could have been added, sure, but it's not an entirely crazy example.
The opinions of this moderator are for entertainment purposes only.
JimMorrison
JimMorrison
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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September 15th, 2011 at 12:41:14 AM permalink
Quote: mrjack9


While in the back room, I was asked to sit on a bench fitted with restraints (I chose to remain standing), I was not permitted to make a phone call using my cell phone, and I was told repeatedly that I was being detained under suspicion of theft from the casino.



Did you attempt to use your cell phone and if so what did they do? Personally I would have settled for $200 but if I had ended up in the holding room I'd be on the phone with Nersesian until they physically took my phone and cuffed me.
EvenBob: "Look America, I have a tiny wee-wee, can anybody help me?"
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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September 15th, 2011 at 5:45:03 AM permalink
Quote: JimMorrison

Personally I would have settled for $200 but if I had ended up in the holding room I'd be on the phone with Nersesian until they physically took my phone and cuffed me.

Each would have been very wise steps to have taken. I think he may have been too drunk to reason properly and thats why he was in the back room, but once there he should certainly have dialed someone and forced the issue right then and there.

Okay the booze is free and its of high quality and lets face it, that brooze is brought to you by very attractive young women ... but to not remember whether you had bet fifty dollars or eight hundred dollars? Jeez... she wasn't that good looking.

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