Ashley Solomon, a poker dealer at the Boomtown Casino in Louisiana, and Dale Foret, a poker player, were arrested recently for rigging a poker game to trigger the casino’s bad beat jackpot. They were both charged with
“Conspiracy to Commit Theft over $25,000
and Attempted Theft over $25,000.”
According to the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations Gaming Enforcement Division, casino staff alerted authorities on January 19th that there were “several inconsistencies” with the bad beat game, in which the jackpot had eclipsed $166,000. It was discovered that Solomon had arranged the deck in order to give Foret a losing hand that would qualify for the bad beat jackpot and another, unsuspecting player, the winning hand.
Solomon and Foret had discussed the arrangement beforehand, though, as mentioned, the player who won the hand was not involved. The casino did not end up paying out the jackpot, continuing to grow it from pre-cheating levels.
Also on the bad beat jackpot front, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has ruled that Stations Casinos must pay a disputed bad beat jackpot from July 2017. The NGCB had previously ruled in the same way after an investigation, but Stations had appealed the decision, prompting a further investigation and a delayed second ruling.
In the hand at Red Rock Casino in July, Len Schreter hit the top end of a straight flush and Ari Shamir hit the low end, triggering a bad beat jackpot of about $120,000. As the loser, Shamir was due about $60,000, Schreter $30,000, and the 80 or so players at bad beat jackpot tables at that moment at all of Stations’ casinos got to split the other $30,000.
Schreter, though, accidentally revealed his cards out of turn in his excitement, an act that casino management said violated the rules of the bad beat jackpot, rendering it void. A few players took the matter to the NGCB, arguing that the money was already in the pot when Schreter erred and therefore the outcome of the hand was not affected. The NGCB obviously agreed.
Applications are currently available for casinos in Pennsylvania who want to apply for online gambling licenses, but Parx Casino still wants regulations changed that would have an effect on licensing. Specifically, Parx wants each licensee to be permitted to have only one online gaming skin and that skin must have a brand the same or similar to the brand of the licensee.
Parx believes that by allowing multiple – or even unlimited skins – the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board would effectively permit operators to get around the cap on licenses (currently twelve, one per brick-and-mortar casino, but will eventually be thirteen after a new Philadelphia casino is built). It would also allow outside partners like gaming platform developers the opportunity to essentially have a cheaper license, as they would be able to have their own branded skin without paying for a full-fledged gaming license.
Parx’s request also looks like a way to make it harder for PokerStars to enter the Pennsylvania market. A casino might want to partner with PokerStars and then use the PokerStars brand, which wouldn’t work if Parx got its way. It may be a moot point, though, as PokerStars could still get its own brand in the market if not every casino applies for a license. In that case, Stars or other international operators to apply for the available licenses.
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