3 Years Probation for “King of Gamblers”

14 Nov 2014 | 10:20 Author: King, George

Archie Karas, the world famous and self-proclaimed “King of Gamblers”, has pleaded guilty to a single count of burglary after having entered the Barona Casino with the intent to cheat, an act that has resulted in him being sentenced to three years of probation.

Born Anargyros Karabourniotis in Cefalonia, Greece, Archie Karas shot to fame in the early 90’s after winning $40 million during a two-and-a-half-year winning streak in Las Vegas.  

Whilst playing at the Barona Casino in eastern San Diego County, Karas marked the casinos playing cards, so he would know their value before they were dealt, using his unfair advantage to win over $6000.

El Cajon Superior Court Judge Daniel Goldstein, ordered that Karas pay $6800 in restitution to the Barona Casino as well a felony conviction for burglary that, should he be found guilty again, will result in serious prison time.

Karas was caught by the casino’s surveillance camera’s, which are operated by the Barona Gaming Commission, putting “subtle but distinguishable marks on the backs of playing cards,” so as to identify each cards value before it was turned over. The Barona Gaming Commission turned the case over to the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Gambling Control, who then took charge of the investigation.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board helped with the arrest at Karas’ Las Vegas home. After he was arrested, he was detained for 73 days after his arrest and, while out on bail, was not allowed to leave the state and return to his home in Las Vegas.

“He can go back to Vegas as soon as the [Probation Department] says he can go back,” said Judge Goldstein , indicating that Karas would have to follow the established procedure in order to have his supervision transferred to another state.

The El Cajon Judge also told Karas that he may ask for the court to reduce his felony conviction to a misdemeanor after a year on probation, if he follows the rules, doesn’t commit any more crimes and pays the $6860 restitution he owes to the Barona Casino.

The casino determined that the $6860 was the amount of profit he took home after playing Blackjack in the Barona last year, said Deputy District Attorney Andrew Aguilar, standing outside the courtroom after the hearings had ended.

Karas is one of the most well known gamblers in the world and is often seen wearing diamond encrusted pinkie rings during frequent trips to casinos, card rooms and high-stakes poker games around the country.

“I consider myself the king of gambler,” Karas told ESPN during an interview in 2007. “I made it, I lost it and, like Frank Sinatra says, I stood tall and I took the punches and I did it my way.”

George King
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