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Craziest Gambling Stories From January

From Fertitta Fine To Daily Mail Apology To Wynn To Lunch Lady Gambling


Tilman Fertitta. Forbes Photo

The gambling world can sometimes produce really off-the-wall stories. Here’s a look at some of the most colorful from the month of January. Also take a look back at what weird stuff happened in December and November.

Casino Boss Fined $15K For Playing Blackjack

One of the richest men in the country was hit with a pittance of a fine after violating a New Jersey rule banning casino owners like him from wagering within state lines.

Billionaire businessman Tilman Fertitta, who is president and owner of Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget, was cited by state regulators after he gambled in the Garden State.

Palms Casino In Las Vegas Fined $1 Million For Prostitution And Drugs

The parent company of the Palms casino, located just off the Las Vegas Strip, was hit with a $1 million fine by Nevada regulators after an investigation into prostitution and drugs.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the firm has agreed to pay the seven figures to the state. Details on the investigation into the Palms’ clubs are listed in a 21-page complaint.

Student Sentenced To 60 Years For Violent Robbing Of A 2011 Home Poker Game

A college student in Maryland was sentenced to 60 years in prison for his role in an armed and violent robbery of a poker home hosted at a College Park apartment in 2011.

According to The Washington Examiner, 24-year-old Sergio Hernandez and a co-conspirator told the victims to lie on the ground and take off their pants. Some of the victims reportedly were pistol-whipped. The robbers made off with cash and other property.

Daily Mail Apologizes To Casino Owner Steve Wynn

London-based media outlet the Daily Mail issued an apology to Las Vegas casino owner Steve Wynn. According to the newspaper, it falsely stated that Wynn had “alleged links to the mafia.”

The correction, which admitted to what it concludes were other reporting mistakes, is in regards to a recently published article, the Daily Mail said.

Arizona Woman Deported After Winning Casino Jackpot

Mirna Valenzuela thought it was her lucky day when she won a $1,200 jackpot at the Casino del Sol in Tucson, Arizona last December.

After trying to collect with her Arizona driver’s license, casino officials instructed her to return the next day with her Mexican passport. The next afternoon, Border Patrol Agents showed up and took Valenzuela and her daughter into custody.

Illinois Man Gets 30 Years After Robbing Student Of Casino Winnings

An Illinois man with a criminal history, who robbed a then-college student of some of his casino money in a parking garage this past spring, was sentenced to 30 years in jail, according to The News-Gazette. He was convicted in December.

The amount involved in the crime was $2,500, though the gambler had $23,000 in his possession at the time of the armed robbery.

Heisman Trophy Winner Criticized For Showing Off In Oklahoma Casino

After defeating the Oklahoma Sooners in the Cotton Bowl by a score of 41 to 13, Texas A&M Aggies quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel decided to celebrate by flashing some cash at the WinStar World Casino Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

The 20-year-old football phenom known simply as “Johnny Football” tweeted a photo of himself and friends fanning out a stack of bills with the caption, “Casino ballin!”

Lunch Ladies Accused Of $93K Theft For Gambling

CBS Pittsburgh reported that two former lunch ladies have been charged with siphoning off nearly $94,000 in cash from their school and using the funds for casino gambling.

The alleged theft took place over a more than two-year period.

50-year-old Stacy Lee Shipley and 49-year-old Sheila Ann Cook worked for the Charleroi School District — about 30 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Louisiana Casinos Intercept And Seize $800K From Gamblers Who Have Child Support Debt

Louisiana has intercepted and seized more than $800,000 of casino winnings since Sept. 2011 from gamblers who, according to the state, are behind on their child support payments, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services announced.

A piece of legislation, which authorized the withholding of gambler funds at brick-and-mortar gambling properties, was signed by the governor in 2010. Casinos can run the gambler’s name through a child support database to see if any money is owed.

Venetian Macau Goes After High Rollers For Allegedly Welching On $4.5 Million

The Venetian Macau, owned by Las Vegas Sands Corp., has sued two wealthy Chinese gamblers for allegedly failing to pay their gambling debts.

The total sum reportedly is about $4.5 million.

Gambler In Vietnam Wins Decision Over $55M Penny-Slot Jackpot After Alleged Glitch

A handful of years ago, a gambler in Vietnam deposited a pittance into a slot machine that was allegedly designed to have a maximum jackpot payout of under $50,000.

Once the machine was done spinning and making noise, $55,542,296.73 was displayed.

The alleged glitch became an issue of intense legal drama. After a protracted battle within the legal system, the gambler might see all of the massive sum.

Arizona Tribe Accused Of Secretly Planning Casino In Violation Of Gaming Pact

The Tohono O’odham Nation is in hot water with the state of Arizona and other Native American tribes over a secret plan to acquire land for a casino near Glendale in the early 2000s, a time when tribal leaders agreed to limit the number of casinos in the area.

Voters approved Proposition 202 in 2002, a state gaming compact between 17 tribes that would prevent the Tohono O’odhams from building the casino property.

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