Park Place Entertainment on Friday suspended a casino host while company officials investigate claims he borrowed as much as $250,000 from a high-rolling gambler. News of the loan to Tom Bonanne, a casino host at Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s, surfaced during a recent federal trial in which Park Place was accused of defrauding high roller Steven Mattes. “Park Place Entertainment has a clear and unambiguous policy that bars employees from accepting loans from customers,” says Park Place spokesman Robert Stewart. “The individual involved in this case has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.” The Nevada State Gaming Control Board is investigating the case, and also plan to investigate the loan. The job of a casino host is to keep bettors happy and gambling, sources said. Part salesman, part confidante, the host may help the gambler arrange casino credit, entertainment or meals. According to casino industry consultant Max Rubin, “Borrowing money from a gambler is a major conflict of interest (for a casino host), and that’s why the hotels in Las Vegas stopped allowing hosts to do it. A lot of hosts got wealthy in the ’60s and ’70s by investing in Las Vegas-area real estate, using money they borrowed from players.”
Seminole Officials Shop-Away Casino Profits
Seminole Tribal Councilman David Cypress spent the past 3 1/2 years on a $57-million shopping spree, spreading cash among friends, fellow tribe members and anybody with a good sob story. Cypress testified Wednesday at the trial of three men – former Seminole Operations Director Tim Cox, tribe computer consultant Dan Wisher and Wisher’s son-in-law, Michael Crumpton – who are accused of stealing $2.7 million from the tribe and diverting it to their own private accounts in Belize and Nicaragua. “I bought Lexuses for anyone who asked for one, testified Cypress. “Give me a [sad] Hank Williams song, and I’ll give you one, too.” On the stand, Cypress told of how he spent $40,000 on Bose stereo equipment, nearly $600,000 on auto maintenance and repair, $100,000 at Sears and almost $1 million in American Express charges. “I like to help people and I enjoy giving money away,” he said. “Everyone knows if they show up at my door, I’m probably going to help them. That’s just the way I am, and I don’t want to change.” Cypress said all councilmen were given millions and told to spend the money as they pleased, as long as it helped the tribe.
Board Seeks Input on IDNPLAY E-Gaming
The potential legalization of intrastate Internet gambling in Nevada may be delayed or even rejected because the state Gaming Control Board wants input from the Legislature when lawmakers meet in February. “We want to put information together so that when the Legislature meets in February, we can report to them what we found, make any recommendations and allow the Legislature to at least consider whether or not we want to go forward with this,” Control Board member Scott Scherer said earlier this month. That information would include court decisions such as a recent decision by a federal appeals court in Louisiana to uphold a dismissal of a class-action lawsuit by people who lost money in Web casinos. Supporters are rallying behind a bill introduced last month by Rep. John Conyers that would establish a commission to study the feasibility of regulating Internet gambling on a state and federal level. The bill, which will be re-introduced next year, aims to bridge what appears to be a widening gap between supporters and opponents of gambling legalization.