Turning Stone Casino Demands $45k Bad Beat Poker Jackpot Returned

What would you do if you won a share of a Bad Beat Poker Jackpot while playing at a casino, only to realise you weren’t holding the required $2 Poker Club Card to qualify for the bonus?
Apparently, this exact situation occurred at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York in December, when the $181,000 jackpot was released after four of a kind was beaten by a better poker hand.
The jackpot was then divided up with $90,000 going to the loser, $45,000 to the winner and the residual $46,000 shared out between the remaining players at the table.
Unbeknownst to the casino, however, the holder of the winning hand had never purchased the mandatory $2 Poker Club Card, so instead choose to borrow that of another player in order to collect his prize from poker room staff.
Although the man seemed to have got away with it at the time, it seems like the Turning Stone Casino has finally twigged his manoeuvring after studying their surveillance tapes and are now demanding he repays the $45,000. Commenting on the incident the Turning Stone Resort & Casino poker boss Jason DiBenedetto said:
“He took a gamble. And unfortunately on that one, he lost…Do we want the money back from the player? Of course, he defrauded us. We feel he should give us back that money.”
In a sign of how determined the casino is to retrieve the money, the Turning Stone has since fired the dealer at the time of the incident and is now pursuing the casino patron through the law courts.
“Is it realistic to think we will get it back? I think it is. It’s just like anything if someone had gone and stolen something from somebody,” stated DiBenedetto.
It is unclear whether the casino patron was aware of the Turning Stone Casino’s requirement for a Poker Club Card, but one would then wonder why he didn’t pay the $2 rather than risk being unable to pick up any potential winnings from the poker room. The casino has since put up a number of large posters around the casino explaining the need to have a daily card.
Since this article was published, Jason DiBenedetto, director of poker operations at Turning Stone Resort Casino contacted Onlinepoker.net and wished to clarify a few points. The following is the message he wished to communicate:
“Attached is a copy of our Bad Beat Jackpot rules which have always been posted in the poker room on a large 22” x 28” poster.  Rule number 2 clearly states “Any player at the table who does not have a valid poker membership card will not be eligible for THEIR PORTION of the bad beat.”  We will not penalize a player for something that was not their fault and we cannot hold them accountable for other people’s actions. ”
Mark Emery, director of media relations was also in touch and provided us with the text of the poster that that has been posted in the poker room since the incident occurred and accurately describes the situation.  He also thanked Onlinepoker.net for the opportunity to supply the correct details to edit our online story. It reads:
 “On Friday, December 10, 2010, a poker player defrauded our Poker Room and our loyal players.   When it was announced this player was one of the Bad Beat jackpot winners, he represented that he had bought a daily membership to play, when he had not done so.  Our posted Poker Room rules clearly require that “all players must have a valid poker membership card to be eligible for the jackpot.”  Our Poker Room then made a mistake by paying out the jackpot to the unauthorized player without realizing (at the time) that the player lacked a valid membership.  Only after paying the jackpot did Turning Stone learn that the unauthorized player had presented an invalid membership card in a ruse to receive his portion of the jackpot.”
“As you know, the Bad Beat jackpot pool is funded by our loyal guests.  The unauthorized player’s fraud in illegally claiming a portion of the jackpot amount caused our Bad Beat Jackpot to be unfairly depleted by $45,251.  Turning Stone always strives to provide a fair and friendly gaming environment, and the safety and integrity of our games is our first priority.  Accordingly, Turning Stone has corrected this wrong by re-seeding the Jackpot with our own funds in the full amount that was stolen by this unauthorized player.”

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