Las Vegas Sun

May 19, 2019

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Man accused of counting cards sues over Harrah’s ban

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A Las Vegas man accused of counting cards at the Paris Las Vegas casino on the Strip is taking Harrah’s Entertainment to court in his bid to re-enter the company's casinos after he was banned.

In the lawsuit filed this week in Clark County District Court, Steven Silverstein claims Nevada law prevents Harrah’s from denying him access to the company's casinos. The suit claims he was banned from Harrah's western region casinos in September.

On Sept. 6, 2009, four uniformed men approached Silverstein at the blackjack table where he was playing at Paris Las Vegas, according to the lawsuit. The men demanded Silverstein leave the blackjack table and follow them to the cashier's cage, where he was told to cash in his gambling chips.

Silverstein then was approached by the Paris casino manager, who told him “We don’t want you coming to our hotel or, for that matter, any of our hotels,” the lawsuit claims.

The casino manager then told Silverstein he would be arrested if he entered any Harrah’s-owned or -operated properties, and was physically escorted out of the casino, according to the suit.

In a five-page letter to Harrah’s Chief Executive Gary Loveman on Sept. 22, 2009, Silverstein detailed his take of the Sept. 6 events and claimed it was a case of mistaken identity. The letter indicated Silverstein is an attorney in Orange County.

Harrah’s Vice President for Legal Affairs Mark Dunn responded to the letter and informed Silverstein that he was indefinitely banned from 16 of Harrah’s western region casinos.

Silverstein sent Dunn a letter claiming discrimination, saying the Massachusetts Institute of Technology blackjack team, also accused of card counting, is allowed to enter Harrah’s casinos. Silverstein said in his letter that his Harrah’s rewards card has been revoked at all Harrah’s casinos, including those not in the western region, preventing him from playing poker.

Harrah’s Entertainment didn't immediately return a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.

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