The Wizard of Odds was recently victimized by an unethical sportsbook manager at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas. Here is a link to the Wizard’s comments:
Shame on the Stratosphere for using this excuse to stiff a patron. Shame on the Nevada Gaming Control Board for letting casinos get away with arbitrary “expiration dates” of sportsbetting tickets. Assuming what the Wizard wrote is accurate, I think we can put Patrick Rethore in the same category as the creeps who run the Wynn sportsbook. Wynn’s sportsbook has stiffed at least one winner using the “expired ticket” excuse. Terrible’s has done the same. Planet Hollywood now admits that “intelligent bettors” (the exact words of one of its employees) are not allowed to bet there. Stratosphere and its related properties have adopted a similar policy.
Station Casinos tried to intimidate a patron into forgiving a debt. The patron insisted on being paid his winnings; Station paid the bet, then 86’d the patron. Golden Nugget (under previous ownership) tried a couple of years ago to cheat a patron by simply refusing to pay a winning bet. Gaming eventually forced payment and assessed a ridiculously small fine against the Golden Nugget. The Orleans sportsbook has at least twice had to be forced by Gaming to pay winning tickets after it tried to intimidate the winning patron to just go away and not collect his winnings. Neither time was Orleans penalized by Gaming for the attempts to cheat a patron.
Sportsbooks used to be somewhat decent with at least a small bit of integrity and sense of fair play compared to the rest of the casino industry. Some still are run ethically. But sadly, the concept of honorable operations has become foreign to many sportsbook managers, and they wallow in slime along with the other bottom-feeders of the casino industry.
Jeff Haney wrote this interesting article on the bad attitude and condition of many of Nevada’s sportsbooks.
Shame on Patrick Rethore. the Stratosphere, Wynn, Terrible’s, Golden Nuggget, Station Casinos, Orleans, and the other sportsbooks that have tried to welch on paying legitimate winners. Equally shameful is the Gaming Control Board allowing this travesty to continue.
5/22/08 UPDATE — STRATOSPHERE FINALLY DID THE RIGHT THING
Apparently someone with more sense than Mr. Rethore became aware of the sordid situation.
On May 22, 2008, the Stratosphere Casino & Hotel and Michael Shackleford mutually resolved all claims that were outstanding in the complaint before the State of Nevada Gaming Control Board. The Stratosphere honored Mr. Shackleford’s wager and both Stratosphere and Mr. Shackleford are pleased with the outcome.