Harrah's Punter Arrested After $950 Baccarat OverpaymentMarch 11, 2012 2:26 pm
Back in July, 2008, William H. Conner had been playing baccarat at Harrah’s in Reno, Nevada, when he was approached by a pit boss and told he had been overpaid forty minutes earlier.
Apparently, the semi-retired auto sales manager received $2,850 on a single bet, where the table wager limit would have limited him to a $1,900 maximum payout. Consequently, the casino demanded the return of the $950 difference even though they refused to show Mr Conner the video evidence, with the manager later admitting it would not reveal anything conclusive.
As Conner explains: “The pit boss was screaming ‘we’ve got it on camera’ and made this very verbal public attack on me..They said they had my face on camera, but it turns out the camera shows nothing!”
Under the circumstances, the hapless punter refused to return the $950, but Harrah’s then got the Nevada Gaming Control Board involved, which arrested the casino patron before collecting the money and returning it to Harrah’s.
Nevertheless, William H. Conner claims he only repaid the money under duress after being arrested, threatened with a trip to prison, and being frisked while allegedly being told his penis was “the size of a Chapstick.”
Later, a livid Mr Conner tried to sue Harrah’s and two gaming agents for the ordeal, but on Friday the ruling by a federal judge in Reno which would have paved the way for his lawsuit, was overturned by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Apparently, the agents were deemed to be entitled to immunity as they could reasonably have assumed Mr Conner had committed theft, and as U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff explained:
“They could have reasonably suspected, for example, that Conner cynically hoped to keep the money or that he did not want to accede to Harrah’s demands simply because he felt offended by the manner in which Harrah’s employees confronted him.”
Responding to the decision, William H. Conner grumbled; “This is a good ol’ boys’ town.”