Casino Forced to Pay Out Jackpot Even Though the Winner Was Kicked Out of the Property

Final decision

A gambler who snuck back into a casino after being kicked out is entitled to his jackpot winnings, this according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) following a 2-1 vote. On Wednesday, the NGCB ordered that the Casablanca Resort and Casino in Mesquite must pay $2,045.18 to Rhon Wilson; this is a binding decision and thus does not need any consideration from the Nevada Gaming Commission.

casino-player dispute appeal process

This ruling was the result of a casino-player dispute appeal process, which rarely ends up going in the favor of the gambler. Many of the appeals that the control board deals with relate to jackpots that are not paid out following a malfunction of a slot machine.

Flaws in the rules

Dick Tomasso, Vice President of Security and Government Affairs of Casablanca’s parent company, Mesquite Gaming LLC, appeared at the hearing to plead its case. Wilson was not in attendance.

more profitable for him to pay a small misdemeanor fine and continue to gamble

Tomasso claimed that Wilson decided it was more profitable for him to pay a small misdemeanor fine and continue to gamble at the property than adhere to a ban. Speaking about the board’s decision, he said: “Your action will have a profound effect on all your licensees in the state of Nevada.” The casino’s case was that Wilson had to commit a crime to place a bet and this means he shouldn’t be able to claim any resulting winnings.

The company claimed that Wilson was caught trespassing seven times at the casino after he did not pay for a drink. He still managed to regularly gain re-entry to the property and won three different jackpots over the course of several months.

Sparking debate

This decision from the NGCB is set to start a debate about whether or not patrons who commit a misdemeanor are still entitled to claim casino winnings. An NGCB regulatory workshop is taking place on October 18 where the matter will be under the microscope.

Board member George Assad sided with Casablanca, explaining that the unwritten policy in Nevada of always paying out jackpot winnings is not a good approach. Board member Brittnie Watkins and Chairman Kirk Hendrick believe it is important that casinos pay out jackpot winnings even if they are to people with a misdemeanor conviction.



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