darkoz
darkoz
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onenickelmiracleMission146CrystalMathunJonsmoothgrh
May 2nd, 2021 at 7:20:07 AM permalink
So, as some of you may recall I was backroomed for using multiple Player cards at Resorts World back in 2014.

The lawsuit finally went before a civil jury in December 2019. There is no such thing as a slam dunk case as any attorney will tell you. You can say I am sugarcoating it but that is truth. As you can tell I did not prevail.

Here is my telling of what happened.

In January 2014, I was observed gambling on other people's cards. Let me stress "GAMBLING". NOT TAKING OFFERS.

In fact I was gambling at E-Craps. And yes, I intended to take freeplay off those cards but it's important to note I was surrounded by security just for playing on the cards and utilizing my own cash.

They asked for my ID and I willingly handed it over as I knew my face was flagged anyway. I asked to leave and eight guards surrounded me and said that was not an option. I had to come with them. I stood my ground for nearly half an hour but they threatened to charge me with theft. Avoiding false arrest is a form of coercion. They told me to follow them and I did... until...

The elevator to the back room was on the left and the escalator to exit the building was on the right. As we approached the juncture I made a beeline for the escalator and exit. Security rushed me, surrounded me and prevented my egress. These actions should leave no doubt that I was falsely imprisoned. (THIS THREE MINUTES OF WALKING AND MY ATTEMPTED ESCAPE FOOTAGE WAS LOST ACCORDING TO THE CASINO. HOW CONVENIENT!)

Once again, under threat, I was escorted to the back room. There I was ordered to empty all pockets. I refused.

The head of security who I knew also happened to be a former NYC police detective stated he was going to call in the local precinct and have me arrested for theft if I didn't empty my pockets. Perhaps I should have called his bluff but guess who NYPD will listen to, me or a former NYPD detective running Casino security?

Emptying my pockets still wasn't enough. The detective said he was going to run my ID through the NYPD system to check for warrants. On the video he states he has the power to do that. At deposition he stated that was ridiculous, of course he couldn't as that would be illegal. Nonetheless I was held further waiting for what most certainly was an attempt to have me arrested at all costs.

The entire ordeal was captured on surveillance tapes which ran nearly two hours. Some of that surveillance was their following me prior to the incident but I was held for about an hour all things inclusive (the showdown on the gaming floor, attempted escape, backroom, etc)

THE TRIAL

It pretty much was a small simple trial. I testified, head of security testified, footage was shown, jury came back. Here are my thoughts on why I most likely didn't prevail.

1) Resorts World is the only Casino in NYC.

This may be the biggest factor. Every prospective juror was asked by the defense if they were regular gamblers. If they said yes they were asked if they gambled at Resorts World. If they replied yes they were dismissed as Resorts World was the defendant.

Civil court is located fifteen driving minutes from Resorts World and all the prospective jurors live near by. Anyone who gambled regularly of course goes to the only Casino in town

The result was a full jury with not one experienced gambler, not one person who understood before the trial how promotional cards worked and most likely people who don't gamble do so because they don't believe in gambling. They claimed at selection not to have a bias against it but come on.

2) The judge.

The judge was at best misinformed. At worst biased. You can decide.

At one point early in the first day the judge sent the jury out and said he didn't understand why this case ever made it to court. While he didn't gamble in Casinos, he played poker occasionally and everyone knows if you use someone else's playing cards that's cheating.

It was actually the defense who quickly explained (and not too well because later comments from the judge made it clear to me he was still lost) about how promotional cards work. I'm pretty certain the defense rushed to clarify in order to avoid a possible excuse for an appeal.

I had hired the Wizard himself to testify as an expert witness to the mathematical aspects, how the return on the games was not affected and the propensity of players cards used in the market for promo advantage play.

Mr. Shackleford was flown into NY for a week at my expense as we could not guarantee the day he would be called to testify. (The Wizard has viewed the surveillance footage and can discuss what he saw if he wishes).

Defense argued this was a trial about false detainment and not gambling per se and the judge upheld that resulting in Michael's testimony being blocked. He ended up having a nice vacation and I thank him for making the trip.

The Defense called one of their employees to talk about the promotional aspect of the cards AND THEN HE PROCEEDED TO DISCUSS THE MATHEMATICAL ASPECTS OF GAMBLING AND THE PROMOTIONAL REWARDS EXACTLY WHICH THE WIZARDS TESTIMONY WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT except of course he testified in the Casinos favor and discussed how it hurt the Casinos bottom line.

My attorney lodged an objection that the witness was not testifying to false imprisonment but to aspects of gambling AND WAS OVERRULED! The judge said this was involving players cards in a casino so it was relevant to the decisions the Casino made.

Huh!?

3) TAINTED JURY

Very early on the first day of trial, my attorney was describing how players cards worked and how I was caught using multiple cards. My use of the cards was never a matter of contention.

A sudden and shocking outburst by one of the jurors who looked me dead in the eye, as she said "so you was doing wrong. Why would you do that?"

What the hell? She was immediately dismissed from the case. The jury was instructed to ignore any comments she had made. In my opinion a new jury should have been selected but time is of the essence in courts. The judge had a docket schedule and the trial continued


4)DEFENSE TRICKS

The Defense did all types of underhanded tricks. I won't go into them all. Here is one example.

A meeting was held without the jury to determine if they should be shown nearly two hours of footage. Everyone agreed it was not a good idea. Much of the footage was silent surveillance. Even in the detainment room there were long passages of silence as paperwork was prepped and I just sat saying nothing.

As the trial was underway there was no time to hire an editorial crew but it was noted I had experience in the editorial field (my Hollywood career does include editorial experience)

It was agreed I would create a cutdown of the footage and if all parties signed off that it was a fair representation (not attempting to color the footage in my favor) then it would be shown to the jury.

All this was done and on record the Defense agreed the footage was complete as to relevance. They would not have allowed it to be shown to the jury otherwise.

At my cross examination, Defense said "Yes or no, did you yourself edit this footage, keeping in what you felt was relevant?"

I attempted to explain but you have seen enough court shows. I was held to a yes or no answer. My attorney tried to Walk it back but the damage was done with the jury which already was tainted as described above.

CONCLUSION

In the end the jury believed what the Defense claimed, that the casino didn't know if the cards were stolen and were within their rights to detain me. (Never mind that surveillance already knew the cards in question from their following me around and could have ascertained whether they were stolen or not stolen by contacting the player's in question, something that more experienced Casinos like in Atlantic City do.)

Anyway, one has to know there is the possibility of losing any case when going forward. My attorney got the worst of it I suppose as she was working for expenses only so it was pretty much a five year donation on her part.

Perhaps it's sour grapes on my part but I did cost the Casino for their lawyers who I know didn't work for free.

And I single handedly changed the methods of Resorts World Casino. Today, you won't be falsely imprisoned for using other players cards in Resorts World. Trust me I know. I hit them hard with my teams for years while the lawsuit proceeded and the two instances where one of my people was surrounded by security and asked to leave, security just walked them to the door while a supervisor kept ordering them not detain them because they feared it could result in a law suit.

Yes, still the most feared AP on the East Coast!
Last edited by: darkoz on May 2, 2021
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
sabre
sabre
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Thanks for this post from:
Mission146
May 2nd, 2021 at 9:28:05 AM permalink
Great read. Thanks for posting this.

So your experience seems to be contrary to the general sentiment that a backrooming is an auto high 5 to 6 figure settlement.

Do you feel that

1) This sentiment is wrong?
2) The fact that you were going against a casino in a newer market killed you? (you allude to this in your description of the jury selection)
3) The fact that you had cards belonging to other people, instead of say card counting or hole carding was the issue? (I can see your average non gambling juror deciding "zomg identity theft guilty" in the first 5 minutes of the trial)
darkoz
darkoz
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Thanks for this post from:
Mission146
May 2nd, 2021 at 9:41:58 AM permalink
Quote: sabre

Great read. Thanks for posting this.

So your experience seems to be contrary to the general sentiment that a backrooming is an auto high 5 to 6 figure settlement.

Do you feel that

1) This sentiment is wrong?
2) The fact that you were going against a casino in a newer market killed you? (you allude to this in your description of the jury selection)
3) The fact that you had cards belonging to other people, instead of say card counting or hole carding was the issue? (I can see your average non gambling juror deciding "zomg identity theft guilty" in the first 5 minutes of the trial)



1) Even Bob Nersessian will state to prospective clients that the sentiment is wrong. The high figure settlements get lots of publicity but don't expect them. Smaller settlements are more in line with expectations although it depends on circumstances.

And yes, I had some early dealings with Nersessian so I heard it from his own mouth

2) Yes, new markets as you can see cause problems. It's also difficult to find a lawyer who specializes in gambling related issues like a Nersessian.

3) Totally agree. I feel this case in Las Vegas would have been a winner. Finding a jury who DIDN'T know aspects of gambling would have been difficult. It's the opposite in newer markets especially where only one Casino exists or where they may be few and far between such as Pennsylvania
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
Wizard
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Wizard
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May 2nd, 2021 at 6:54:17 PM permalink
I'm glad to see the story finally published.

It's sad that anybody can detain somebody against their will who committed no crime and not be held accountable. I can't speak to the details of the case because not only was I not allowed to be heard, but I couldn't even sit in the courtroom and watch. Furthermore (darkoz, correct me if I'm wrong), but the judge previously allowed me to be listed as a witness before I flew out. It seems to me almost every decision the judge made cut the defense's way.

On a humorous note, on the first day of the trial, I took darkoz to task for not wearing a tie. He came back with, "I don't own one and haven't worn one since high school."
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
darkoz
darkoz
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May 2nd, 2021 at 7:29:41 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I'm glad to see the story finally published.

It's sad that anybody can detain somebody against their will who committed no crime and not be held accountable. I can't speak to the details of the case because not only was I not allowed to be heard, but I couldn't even sit in the courtroom and watch. Furthermore (darkoz, correct me if I'm wrong), but the judge previously allowed me to be listed as a witness before I flew out. It seems to me almost every decision the judge made cut the defense's way.

On a humorous note, on the first day of the trial, I took darkoz to task for not wearing a tie. He came back with, "I don't own one and haven't worn one since high school."



I'm glad you are of the opinion about the judge as well.

Yes, once he had it in his mind that I was getting over he made very lopsided decisions

I hate making accusations of bias because they seem paranoid but when someone else independently corroborates it's difficult to ignore.

As to wearing ties, from film-making to gambling AP I pick livelihoods I am not required to wear a tie. Can't stand them.
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
AxelWolf
AxelWolf
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May 2nd, 2021 at 7:38:40 PM permalink
Quote: darkoz

1) Even Bob Nersessian will state to prospective clients that the sentiment is wrong. The high figure settlements get lots of publicity but don't expect them. Smaller settlements are more in line with expectations although it depends on circumstances.

And yes, I had some early dealings with Nersessian so I heard it from his own mouth

2) Yes, new markets as you can see cause problems. It's also difficult to find a lawyer who specializes in gambling related issues like a Nersessian.

3) Totally agree. I feel this case in Las Vegas would have been a winner. Finding a jury who DIDN'T know aspects of gambling would have been difficult. It's the opposite in newer markets especially where only one Casino exists or where they may be few and far between such as Pennsylvania

IIRC Bob said he doesn't want anything to do these types of cases because they DO have reasonable suspicion of a crime to detain you.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
AxelWolf
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May 2nd, 2021 at 7:54:12 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

What were you going to testify as an expert witness about, I don't see the connection?
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
randomperson
randomperson
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May 2nd, 2021 at 7:57:07 PM permalink
Quote: AxelWolf

IIRC Bob said he doesn't want anything to do these types of cases because they DO have reasonable suspicion of a crime to detain you.



I had a similar experience as darkoz in a different casino around the same time, and that was one of the reasons that I never pursued legal remedy. The other more important one was that I still had a pipeline to protect.

Mine might have been a little worse because they grabbed my arms behind my back and dragged me through the casino to the back room.
randomperson
randomperson
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May 2nd, 2021 at 7:59:23 PM permalink
In my experience, calling the police is an empty threat because they have to notify the police anyway in many jurisdictions.
Tanko
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May 3rd, 2021 at 6:18:42 AM permalink
Sometimes it speeds things up considerably and saves costs, when your lawyer has pull.

Years ago, I was involved in Civil lawsuit in Queens. We were headed for an eventual trial, when my lawyer called me and said “The Judge has set aside an entire day for all parties to meet in his chambers to settle the case”.

I went first into the Judge’s chambers with my lawyer, to present my case. The Plaintiff and his attorney followed.

We were waiting outside the Judge’s chambers, when the Plaintiff’s attorney came out and bragged to his client, intentionally loud enough for us to hear, "I have friends who sit on the Appellate bench. I can get them to overturn this Judge’s decision".

A minute later, the Judge calls my attorney and me into his chambers and announces “We have a deal”.

I told him "No we don’t. That attorney just said he can get his friends on the Appellate to overturn your decision".

My attorney confirmed that she also heard this.

“He can’t do that”.

“Maybe not, but this is the second time he said it. He said the same thing about the previous Judge too.”

My attorney confirmed this as well.

Judges become livid when anyone challenges their authority, and I just lit the fuse.

“Go out and tell him to come back in here”.

A few minutes later, the Judge called my attorney and me back into his chambers. The formerly loudmouth attorney was now slouching his chair with his hands clasped together on his knees, looking very concerned.

I won the case.

When I next met with my lawyer, I commented that it was very generous of the Judge to set aside an entire day for us to settle the case. She responded, “Yes it was. He set aside other cases to hear yours. My partner is on the Advisory Committee that selects Judges. That Judge got his appointment because of my partner”.

That is not why I won the case, but it ended the case very early and saved me thousands in legal fees.

This is how stupid that Plaintiff’s lawyer was.

While his client was suing me, the lawyer held the money he owed me in escrow, pending the outcome of the case. Despite a Judge telling him he had no right to hold the money, he defied the Judge and said he would continue to hold the money anyway. The Judge warned him, that I could foreclose on his client. He shrugged it off.

I served his client with a notice of foreclosure and strangely never got a response. A Judge had issued an order to stop the foreclosure, but I was never notified.

After I foreclosed on his client, the attorney went back to the Judge to overturn the foreclosure. The Judge refused. “But you ordered a ‘Stop’. “Yes I did, but you never served it on him. You were supposed to serve him.”

The Plaintiff ended up suing his lawyer for malpractice.

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