Billionaire Casino Owner Fined $15k For Playing Blackjack

Billionaire Casino Owner Fined $15k For Playing BlackjackBillionaire casino owner Tilman Fertitta has been fined $15,000 by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, after being spotted playing blackjack at two Atlantic City casinos last year.
The 55 year old Texas businessman is the CEO of Landry’s Restaurants and has a personal fortune estimated at $1.5 billion. Fertitta also owns the Golden Nugget Atlantic City which automatically excludes him from being allowed to gamble at any of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos.
The New Jersey regulation applies to any holder of a “key casino employee license,” and was originally introduced to prevent casino officials colluding or using their influence over casino employees at the gambling tables. Mr Fertitta apparently was unaware of this rule and made no attempt to conceal his actions when he was seen gambling at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and at Revel in 2012. As the Golden Nugget’s general manager Tom Pohlman, explains:
“He feels bad because he didn’t know he couldn’t gamble in Atlantic City. No other state has a requirement that you can’t gamble if you’re a key license holder. Tilman goes all over the country and all over the world. He is a key license holder in Nevada, and he can gamble there except at his own casino.”
The incidents took place on several occasions and included purchasing $2,000 in blackjack chips at the Borgata on August 30th, as well as $3,000 worth at the Revel on June 17th. Tilman Fertitta was also believed to have bought an undisclosed amount of blackjack chips at Revel on its April 2nd opening night.
In its settlement papers with Mr Fertitta, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement stated: “Fertitta was unaware that, unlike other jurisdictions in which he is licensed, he was prohibited from gambling at other casinos in New Jersey by virtue of his key licensed status.”

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