Casino Fined After Poker Player Served 42 Beers on New Years DayJanuary 3, 2011 11:06 am
Australia’s Star City Casino has been hit with a $10,000 fine after breaking one of casinos cardinal rules not to serve intoxicated customers.
Amazingly, the unnamed man had succeeded in passing under the casino’s radar and managed to order a staggering 42 drinks over a 17-hour period while playing poker on New Year’s Day 2009.
Apparently, it was not until 7am when the poker player had to vacate his seat following the closure of the card table that the casino realised their mistake. As bar waiter Helen Mikhael-Ghanime explained:
“He didn’t appear to be steady on his feet. He was dozing off at the table and the manager had to help him collect his chips so he could cash them in.”
Helen Mikhael-Ghanime subsequently lost her job for her part in the incident, with another two members of staff also landing in hot water with their casino employer.
In situations such as these the casino usually has to provide a reasonable explanation as to how the serious breach of their alcohol obligations occurred. As well as admitting a lack of communication between bar staff, security staff and managers, Star City Casino also broke new ground by suggesting that the nature of poker itself was partly responsible for the confusion.
According to a document leaked by the Star City Casino to the Casino Liquor and Gaming Control Authority:
“The nature of poker is that players tend to be …very controlled in their facial expressions and body movements. This level of control means that many of the visible signs that a person…is affected by alcohol may be minimized.”
Although raising a few eyebrows, the explanation would certainly speak highly of the drunken players poker skills as he was not only able to play for such an extended period of time with so much alcohol in his system, but even had chips to cash in at the end of his marathon session.
The initial $10,000 fine levied on Sydney’s Star City Casino has subsequently now been reduced as the Authority took into account the casino’s previous exemplary record in dealing with drunken patrons.