Nevada regulators are considering changing their policies after awarding jackpot winnings to Serial Casino Trespasser

He really likes this casino

The Nevada Gaming Control Board is considering changing its policies after siding with a serial offender even though a casino didn’t pay him the jackpot he won.

The case was resolved in a separate vote by the board in early October. In it, the NGCB ordered the Casablanca Hotel-Casino in Mesquite to pay Rhon Wilson $2,045.18 in slot winnings and deposited balances, even though he had previously been banned from the premises for trespassing.

Wilson’s history with Casablanca dates back to March 2011, when he was kicked out for stealing a $1 beer from the property’s lounge. That didn’t stop Wilson from returning, and he was kicked out five more times – once in 2014, twice in 2015, once in 2019 and once in 2022 – for things like drunkenness, disorderly conduct and petty theft.

But here too he remained undeterred. On April 28, he returned to the casino and hit the $1,660 jackpot on a Dragon Link slot machine. Due to the size of the prize, Wilson had to fill out IRS paperwork, and when he presented his ID to the casino, it turned out that he wasn’t actually supposed to be on the property.

Just four days earlier, Casablanca had implemented a policy of not paying people who trespassed and required employees to contact the police and the NGCB. The casino kept the jackpot payout and $385.18 that was in the machine in the cage, awaiting Wilson’s expected appeal to the NGCB.

Trespassing law is different than gambling law

His hearing was held on May 24 and the Board of Control hearing officer sided with him, citing a policy that still requires casinos to pay customers even after they have been banned and trespassing. The reason for this policy is that as long as gambling was legal, this is a completely separate act from trespassing and each should be dealt with on its own merits.

Casablanca appealed twice and ultimately had the case heard by the full panel. Dick Tomasso, vice president of security and government affairs for Mesquite Gaming LLC, which owns the casino, argued that tracking every customer in hopes of catching an intruder is unrealistic and expensive. He added that because of the NGCB’s policy, which is not actually an official, written rule, many people are willing to risk a fine knowing they will still receive their winnings if they make a big one Make profit.

The only board member who voted against Wilson, George Assad, said simply that it is bad policy to allow invaders to continue to be paid, and just because a policy has been around for a long time doesn’t mean it’s any good. He added that he hopes the NGCB will change its policy soon.

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