The United States Federal Court in Nevada ruled in favor of Harrah’s Casino (now renamed Caesars) and once again reaffirmed the right of every Las Vegas Casino to ban card counters or people the casino suspect may be counting cards. The ruling was a disappointment to countless professionals who were hoping to begin openly using this advanced blackjack strategy to improve their odds against the house.
Four years ago, Ernest J. Franceschi Jr.,a resident of California, sued Harrah’s Vegas Casino for false advertising over state lines. Harrah’s, at the time, was running a television promotional campaign in California using the slogan – ‘All residents of California are welcome to come to Harrah’s Casino.’ Mr. Franceschi, who is banned from every casino in Nevada, due to being a known card counter, immediately jumped inside his car and drove for four hours to Harrah’s Casino where he was promptly ‘backroomed’ and thrown out.
Mr. Franscesci instantly filed a lawsuit claiming that Harrah’s falsely promoted that ‘all California residents were welcomed at the company’s Nevada casinos’, and thus were inviting him, yet when he arrived he was thrown out.
The main point of the case was that Harrah’s caused him distress by their deceptive adverting which “did not offer the services advertised and failed to disclose within the television promotion the existence of a list of known ‘skillful’ blackjack players, who are instantly barred from entering the casino.”
Mr. Franceschi, was hoping the judge would bar the casino from using such lists, since his only option left is to illegally play at foreign internet casinos that accept US players.
Judge Hunt dismissed the case for failure to state a claim without making a ruling regarding neither deceptive advertising nor the legality of an exclusion list.
Judge Hunt said “Nevada and California Civil laws, as well as American gambling laws, have long since established that the ‘right to exclude others’ is a ‘fundamental element of private property ownership.’ The same fundamental rights of private property ownership also extend for businesses including all gaming establishments.”
Nevada has a centuries old common law that defines a man’s home or business as his proverbial ‘castle’. A casino’s owner has the same right to forbid entry for any reason in the same manner as a home owner can bar unwanted guests from entering his residence. The only exception are the Federal anti-discriminatory laws that forbid businesses from barring people on the basis of race, sex, religion and a long list of other disabilities and conditions.