Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Aces Casino Blog: Yes, That Las Vegas "Little Black Book" DOES Exist. We Don't Have One, And No, We're NOT In It! (At Least, We Hope Not....)

It happened during a discussion between three of our top game dealers here at Aces Casino Entertainment  (Ed. Note: Doesn't this blog ALWAYS get it's best ideas this way?), when the gab-fest turned to the subject of cheating at the Las Vegas casinos.  "We're well-known for our uncanny ability to cheat FOR the players here," said top Aces Casino Roulette dealer Scott Percifield.  "What happens to the people that try to cheat us?"  To which Craps specialist John Lopp, he of the 'Yosemite Sam look-alike contest,' replied quickly, "No problem - We put 'em in our Black Book."  (Ed. Note: Guffaws all around, these two guys are always a crack-up at our events.)

Now, let it be known right away that, when you play games with fake chips like Aces Casino (the top Orange County casino party company on the West Coast) does, you're really not in need of an official "Black Book."  Hey, here at Aces, the best reason to have valueless chips in the first place is that we regularly cheat FOR the players.  They don't need to cheat US.  We're ALREADY cheating us FOR them, It's inherently built into our DNA.  Needless to say, no one runs out of chips at an Aces Casino Entertainment event. 

Unless you're bringing us to your big yearly fundraiser.

That's when our kind-hearted, sweet-as-sugar casino game dealers turn on the players, and play the games by the rules, for keeps, so the charitable organization we work for can earn some much-needed funds for their next pet project.  It's really a sight to see; they go from laying down and playing dead to Schwarzenegger "Terminator" clones.  In our industry, it goes without saying - THIS orange county casino night party crew is the BEST in the biz at our craft.  (Ed, Note: Then why did you say it?  Get back to the blog-topic!)

But... It got us to thinking.... One thing we hadn't researched for any measurable amount of time here at Aces Casino WAS that infamous "Black Book" of Las Vegas, what it does, does it even exist, who's on it, stuff like that.  It sounded like the perfect tool for the parakeet paper known as the Aces Casino Blog.

So, without further fanfare, let's begin our trek with Part One of the Aces Blog's report on "The Infamous Black Book of the Las Vegas Casinos" -- Who's in this book, and why.


The names IN the Black Book are Scorsese flick-worthy: Francis “Lefty” Rosenthal (an old acquaintance of ours back in the day); Dominic Anthony Spinale; Joseph Vincent Cusumano. Their crimes, the stuff of wise-guy legend: Louis Tom Dragna led organized crime in Southern California; Buffalo mobster Stephen Anthony Cino racked up a laundry list of charges from robbery to extortion. Their bravado, incomparable: Fred Anthony Pascente was a Chicago detective busted for mail fraud and linked to the Chicago mob; Timothy John Childs once listed “slot cheat” as his occupation on a loan application (Ed. Note: I love that one); repeat felon Frank Citro (racketeering, loan-sharking, illegal bookmaking) showed up at his Nevada Black Book hearing in a tuxedo and told commissioners, “I’ve never been invited to join anything in my life; I just wanted to show the proper respect.”

 Frank Rosenthal, "The Man That Ran The Stardust."

Back in April of 2008, the state Gaming Control Board nominated slot cheat William Cushing for inclusion in Nevada’s Black Book—also known as the more officious-sounding List of Excluded Persons. If inducted, he’ll be the 36th person banned from state casinos—the first since 2004. Created in 1967, the Black Book, according to UNLV gaming researcher David Schwartz, played a role in pushing the mafia out and corporations in.

Getting into the Black Book is rather easy. All you need is a prior felony, a conviction for violating gaming and tax laws, hidden interest (but no license) in a gaming establishment or a rep so notorious or unsavory that it erodes public confidence in the gaming industry. Good luck getting out, though. “About the only way is a judicial review, and that’s never been successful,” says Jerry Markling, chief of enforcement for the Gaming Control Board.

But casino banishment doesn’t mean a lifetime of playing Tonk. You can still drop a quarter in a slot machine. “They can go in restricted locations, places with 16 or fewer slots,” Markling says. “If there are more than 16 slots, it must be a slots-only facility.”

Or you could be Douglas William Barr bold: Three of his 150-plus arrests (mostly for gambling crimes) came after his Black Book inclusion. His son, also Douglas (they’re the only father-son tandem - gee, Dad, thanks for the same name at birth), has been arrested more than 30 times on gambling charges. The lone woman on the list, Sandra Vaccaro, organized a slot-cheating operation, along with husband John Vaccaro, that stole millions from Nevada casinos. Scofflaws can get a return trip to the clink. Says Markling: “It’s a gross misdemeanor if they violate the order; that can mean up to a year in jail.”

There is a list longer and maybe more onerous than the Black Book. From 1980 to March of this year, 112 individuals have been found unsuitable for a gaming license or have had licenses denied or revoked. “It’s very intense, probably one of the most intrusive processes ever,” Schwartz says. “You’re asked questions like what car do you drive. Most honest people would have trouble getting a gaming license in Nevada.”

That's it for this edition of the Aces Casino Blog for Thursday.  We hope all of you enjoyed Part One of our look into the "Black Book" of Las Vegas.  (Damn, It's not even BLACK.)  On Monday, the top Orange County casino party company in SoCal brings you Part Two of our series on the Black Book of Vegas - An In-depth Look at one man that's taking a shot at the impossible task of getting his name OUT of the book.  (Ed. Note: you normally have to die first.  Boy, you talk about a tough club to get out of.)   We'll see you then, keep those very cool comments comin', we LOVE to hear from our fan club (All three of you)!!

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