The Rhythm is Going to Get You
This is arguably the most unusual gambling story I have seen in awhile: On October 10, 2009, a man playing at a High-Limit Baccarat table at Caesars Palace got drunk and/or excited while playing the game.
How drunk and/or excited did he get?
So drunk and/or excited that he stood on his chair, climbed onto the Baccarat table, and walked back and forth on the felt while making bets. He did this not once, not twice, but three times.
As if this were not fully indicative of the man's intoxication and/or excitement, he was also reported to have danced on the table at least one time as surprised Caesars employees looked on.
Now, since I have been traveling out of Las Vegas quite a bit lately, and I have had cable TV for the majority of this time, I've finally been privy to some of the "Camp Vegas" advertisements. They all make Vegas out to be a hedonistic town where one can get away with some pretty outrageous behavior. The scene described at the Baccarat table above is exactly what this town needs. It's the exact image that we are trying to project.
Hell, in the grand scheme of Vegas promotional imagery, it's actually quite tame.
I mean, does anyone remember that travesty called "The Hangover"?
The protagonists took drugs, stole police cars, stole tigers, married strippers, trashed hotel rooms (ironically in Caesars), and kidnapped naked Asian men ... and our own town reveled in the film. Hell, for awhile, I thought the City Council was going to re-name this place "Hangover, Nevada". The production was a 2 hour advertisement for Las Vegas that did more for the town's image than the LVCVA has ever done.
How about Katy Perry's video homage "Waking Up in Vegas" where she brags about gambling while underage, she watches her boyfriend try to seize a stack of chips from a dealer's clutches, she hurls herself down a bowling alley, and she kicks poor Penn & Teller out of their Palms Suite. Those are all good, positive, Vegasy things ... right?
Heh, apparently not.
This week, The Nevada Gaming Commission ruled that Caesars Palace would have to pay a $250,000 fine for the transgression of letting a patron have too much fun. The commision said that, by allowing the customer to dance on the table, Caesars "failed to protect the game and the customer".
My guess is that what the Gaming Commission meant was that Caesars failed to protect the integrity of the game. People expect Baccarat to be dealt in a particular way, and if the game is not conducted in the prescribed manner, people may lose confidence in the fairness and accuracy of the game. I get this, I really do.
With that being said, this is the very same Nevada Gaming Commission that allows 6:5 to be labeled "Blackjack". This is the same Nevada Gaming Commission that turns a blind eye when patrons are forcibly kidnapped and assaulted for breaking absolutely no laws, such as taking photographs.
The Nevada Gaming Commission scolding someone for failing to "protect the game and the customer" is like the Las Vegas Police Department chastising another agency for shoddy police work. It's like Ike Turner decrying domestic abuse. It's like Sherman Frederick accusing a publisher of having no integrity. It's like Steve Wynn calling someone an effeminate tip-stealer.
Coming from the source, it's just not believable.
Even assuming that the Gaming Commission had no choice but to levy a fine, one might think that the punishment could have been commensurate to the crime.
Instead, this entire debacle looks like yet another hypocritical money-grab by yet another corrupt Nevada governmental agency, and it's yet another black eye for Las Vegas' nonsensical image as a whimsical place where anything goes.
Caesars has agreed to the fine, and they intend to pay it in full when the ruling is approved next month.
That's what they get for waking up in Vegas.
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