Crazy Gambling Stories From February
From TV Producer With Gambling Problem To Unusual Thai Law
The gambling world can sometimes produce really off-the-wall stories. Every month there are plenty of cases of individuals going to extreme lengths to pay back debts, or of simply bizarre behavior at casino properties around the globe. It can be entertaining and sometimes sad.
February was no exception, as there was plenty that happened in the casino world.
Here’s a look at some of the most colorful and noteworthy from the month that was.
The creator of the hit TV shows NYPD Blue and Deadwood has a gambling addiction so severe that it resulted in him losing a $100 million fortune. A lawsuit related to his financial situation filed last year revealed that writer-producer David Milch lost $25 million just between 2000 and 2011. It is estimated that Milch earned $100 million over his career, but he now has debts totaling $17 million
A former Cleveland Browns player has been charged by the federal government for allegedly using charitable donations to fund his gambling. Reggie Rucker, 68, has been charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of making false statements to law enforcement, the FBI said in a press release. Rucker served as executive director of Amer-I-Can Cleveland as well as the president of the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance. It was reported in July that he was under investigation for his charity work.
High-stakes poker players Dan Bilzerian and Bill Perkins have agreed on a prop bet that calls for the former to attempt a bicycle ride from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in a 48-hour time frame. A total of $1.2 million is on the line for the ride that must happen by the end of March. Bilzerian later said that Lance Armstrong is going to give him advice on the ride.
A man from Biloxi, Mississippi ran bad when his casino player’s card helped put him behind bars. Edward Parker Eldridge, 61, was given eight years this month for a 2014 burglary where he decided it was a good idea to make himself at home by eating the victim’s food and drinking his wine. The homeowner discovered the mess when he got home. Though Eldridge was long gone, the homeowner found Eldridge’s casino player’s card left behind. With the identity of the suspect, police were later able to arrest him.
The gambler, a Buddhist monk in the state of Louisiana, is set to go to trial for allegedly taking $200,000 from his Lafayette temple and dusting it off at the L’Auberge Casino in Lake Charles. Khang Nguyen Le was prepared to take a plea deal for wire fraud but he decided against it at the last minute. He told the judge through a translator that he didn’t understand how wire fraud applied to his case. The judge said it was applicable because he used an ATM to get the money.
An on-call nurse drunkenly stumbled into a Pennsylvania hospital, where he was needed for surgery, despite downing at least four beers at a nearby casino, authorities said. The nurse, Richard Pieri, bumped his car into a concrete barrier while parking outside the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center. The 59-year-old then fumbled his way through an emergency surgery for a patient complaining of stomach pains.
A former poker dealer and six gamblers from across metro Detroit are facing criminal charges for allegedly running a cheating scheme at Detroit’s MotorCity Casino that allowed losers to walk away with money. The losers, authorities say, were the gamblers who were in cahoots with the dealer and stole from the casino with his help. The central figure in the alleged scheme is the ex-poker dealer, Darryl Green, 53, of Detroit, who is accused of making payouts on losing bets, or simply not collecting payment on lost bets.
Former NFL running back Clinton Portis owes $4.8 million to creditors, $170,000 of which comes from a gambling trip to the Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City. Portis allegedly wrote bad checks to try to pay off the debt. The losses at Borgata come from January 2011. In a court filing, the casino says it extended $200,000 worth of credit to him, and over the next 10 months he only was able to repay $30,000. Portis is accused of stiffing the property on the rest.
A casino in Kenya was home to a grizzly and bizarre crime. According to a report from the BBC, a gambler who was refused credit at the City View Bar and Restaurant Casino in Nairobi’s Eastleigh district left the property only to return later with a sword and then kill two employees. The report said that fellow gamblers witnessed the crime and eventually chased the perpretrator down. They stoned him to death in a nearby street. The entire incident stemmed from a $300 loss at the casino.
A decades-old law in Thailand that says a person can’t be in possession of more than 120 playing cards at a time was used to arrest nearly three dozen card players. Fifty police and military personnel stormed a bridge game being held at the Thai beach resort of Pattaya, arresting 32 people. The investigation began as a crackdown of possible illegal gambling, but once police found that no money was being wagered, they used a 1935 law against playing cards to take the players, many of them elderly, into custody for roughly 12 hours.
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