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Thread: 86'd from Table Mountain Casino in Friant, CA

  1. #1
    After going more than a decade without so much as a backoff, I've been outright 86'd from two places in the past 9 months.

    My latest 86ing was from Table Mountain Casino in Friant, CA, which is located approximately between Fresno and Yosemite National Park.

    In November, I showed up for a play there. I was with two other people, who also used their cards (one of whom already had one).

    Later, two more people I knew showed up, got cards, and ran some play.

    No one ever used my card or ran my play except for me.

    Some odd things did happen there, however.

    1) I hit a "jackpot" (just a hair over 1200), but one of my friends and I were alternately pressing the buttons just for fun. When it hit, they came over and asked which one of us pressed it. Well, they didn't believe the answer we gave (I forgot which of us said we did it) and made us wait 25 minutes while they checked the camera. Finally they determined it was my friend, and they made him take the W2-G, which was fine. They also wouldn't pay us without withholding 30% unless he presented his social security card (!!) They claimed their system to verify the SSNs was down. WTF?! Fortunately he had his SSN in his car, even though technically you're told by the government NOT to carry it with you! We got paid at that point without further incident.

    2) Two of the people (the last two) ended up with no freeplay and no points, despite a fair amount of play. The casino later insisted this was a glitch and put a token amount of $ back on the cards (lasting 7 days), but they were long gone by then, and it went to waste.

    3) Some of my own freeplay earned never appeared the following day as it was supposed to. They again claimed system error. I couldn't stay around any longer to redeem it.

    Two of the people did get offers, including me. However, given its remote location, none of it was ever picked up.

    I happened to be in the area today, and supposedly had $225 in bimonthly freeplay good from April 15-30.

    I walked in, went directly to $1 9/6 JoB, inserted $100 (you need to insert money first to run the freeplay, though I could've used as little as $5 instead of $100), and loaded the freeplay.

    To my surprise, I had $275, and not the $225 printed on the flyer.

    I ran all $275 but didn't do very well, and converted it to $175. Added to my $100 already in the machine, there was $275 in there.

    Then I went to look at my points, and noticed I had $20 worth of points I could run. So I converted $10 of it (you can only do $10 at a time), bricked the first hand for the first $5, and then I hear, "Hi, Todd, can I talk to you?"

    I thought it was probably a host and said, "Oh, hi!"

    Then I noticed it was a security guard.

    He said, "Please cash out and come with me."

    Shit.

    This is an Indian casino, so there's basically no rules or protocols they need to follow.

    I asked, "Can I at least play off this last hand?"

    He said, "No, please cash out and come with me."

    He walked me over to the main security desk, which was in the center of the casino. Thankfully, it wasn't a back room, which I would have tried to avoid being brought to.

    I was happy to be having this discussion out in the open casino.

    My three concerns were:

    1) Getting my $275

    2) Not getting backroomed or worse

    3) Not causing a huge delay, as I actually had people waiting in the car as I was running this

    They brought me to a different guard at the main desk who told me that I was on a "watch list" for allowing others to use my card.

    I told them nobody used my card (true), but clearly they must have just 86'd in absentia my whole group.

    I told them I was with friends that night in November, but we all ran our own cards. He told me that wasn't true from the information he had.

    I countered that they found me today alone and only playing my own card, thus backing my story that I've always done it this way.

    He asked for ID. This was where I could have told him to eat shit if this were a Vegas casino, but at an Indian place, I didn't want to make things worse. I gave them the ID. He copied down some info. Asked me if the address on the ID was good, which it wasn't (though I can still get mail there), but I said yes. He asked for a phone number, I gave him the one from my PokerFraudAlert Radio show. He asked me to take off my cap so he could take a picture, and I did so. He asked me to sign the paper basically agreeing that I am being trespassed and will both be arrested and have my winnings confiscated if I return. I signed it with a fake signature (with my name, but not the way I normally sign things.)

    He asked for a thumb print. I hesitated but did it.

    He let me go cash out the $275 and walked me to the door. I left without further incident.

    Keep in mind that I would NOT have handled it this way if I were in a non-Indian place. For example, the last time I got trespassed in Vegas (in person), they didn't even have my name. I refused to give it to them, refused to show ID, and while I didn't stop them from taking a picture of me, I refused to cooperate to take anything off for it. This was because I knew I had clear rights in Vegas. At Indian casinos, I don't, and was worried I would be backroomed, arrested, and not given my $275 if I refused to cooperate.

    I would be interested in hearing how you guys would have handled it, given it's an Indian casino.

    Obviously I won't be returning.
    Check out my poker forum, and weekly internet radio show at http://pokerfraudalert.com

  2. #2
    As a laughable postscript, I received this e-mail minutes after I was thrown out:

    Name:  996B9B0C-A186-4F5D-BC08-E93B567E66E4.jpeg
Views: 424
Size:  62.0 KB
    Check out my poker forum, and weekly internet radio show at http://pokerfraudalert.com

  3. #3
    I sure wouldn't let them take my picture or thumb print, and I surely wouldn't sign anything. I would have walked out and left the $275 behind before I did all that shit. All my backoffs have been at Indian casinos and they were all polite. By the way, you might not be able to sue the Indian casino, but you can sue the individuals themselves.

  4. #4
    I sure wouldn't let them take my picture or thumb print, and I surely wouldn't sign anything. I would have walked out and left the $275 behind before I did all that shit. All my backoffs have been at Indian casinos and they were all polite. By the way, you might not be able to sue the Indian casino, but you can sue the individuals themselves.
    I am never coming back, so the signing didn't matter much. The picture I guess they could circulate, but they have pics of me anyway from their eye in the sky.

    I didn't want to refuse these things and have them arrest me on some BS charges, leaving the other people in the car wondering wtf happened.

    Decided if I never return, all the stuff they did doesn't matter much.
    Check out my poker forum, and weekly internet radio show at http://pokerfraudalert.com

  5. #5
    I mentioned this months ago, but the most eye-opening info I received in a Native American casino was a quick read of the local tribal paper with some of the journalists debating the restrictions on them. Not only do the tribal police have jurisdiction over "law breakers," but the first amendment does not really apply on tribal land. If the tribal council says you can't say or publish something, they are the law, and you can (as a reporter) be breaking the law for simply publishing the truth. No NDAs involved, no nothing. If they say you can't say or publish something, you are breaking the law by reporting or publishing it and can suffer the consequences. The law is what they say it is.

    So God knows what does NOT get reported that happens in tribal casinos. There are likely a mountain of problems and issues that get sent into a black hole. Other than the people who get shafted, nobody wants this stuff public. Not the tribe, not the businesses near the tribal land, not the state itself that derives revenue from the casinos.

  6. #6
    Yeah that's what I was worried about.

    I wasn't part of a card sharing network, but they seemed to think I was.

    I didn't want an arrest or long backrooming.

    I do think a discussion here about Indian casinos and what to do in situations like these would be beneficial.
    Check out my poker forum, and weekly internet radio show at http://pokerfraudalert.com

  7. #7
    Glad it worked out. That place always made me feel uncomfortable, the whole lay out and vibe is creepy. Note- I guess I am 86'd there as well now.

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Yeah that's what I was worried about.

    I wasn't part of a card sharing network, but they seemed to think I was.

    I didn't want an arrest or long backrooming.

    I do think a discussion here about Indian casinos and what to do in situations like these would be beneficial.
    Hi Dan:

    Sorry to hear about that Trespass you went through. Would your strategy or response have been any different if it was an indian casino run by a name brand without legal immunity like CET or Stations?

    FAB

  9. #9
    Unless they’re going to cuff you or worse, don’t comply. Sign under duress. Give as little information as possible.
    #FreeTyde

  10. #10
    I wasn't going to comment on this incident because I am not familiar with Table Mountain, nor have ever visited. But Dan specifically asked me to read, so I will offer a couple thoughts.

    1.) and most important. Call Bob Nersesian, or if you think there is another knowledgeable gambling related attorney (there isn't) then call them and discuss the matter. There is no substitute for sound expert legal advise in these situations. And these casinos are actually counting on you not doing just that. It is part of them thinking they can do as they like.

    2.) This is the problem with Indian Casinos. They are basically free to do as they like. They answer to no one in most cases. And it is getting worse. It is why I avoid Indian casinos even though on paper (according to rules posted) they some have pretty good looking blackjack games....that is to say if they aren't cheating.

    3.) I have been telling people for a while now, we are now in the midst of a casino industry wide, crackdown on machine player AP's, similar to the crackdown that blackjack card counters faced decades ago. You guys are going to have to re-evaluate how you play and learn to play the cat-and-mouse games just as card counters have been forced to. And that is going to be difficult for machine AP's because is many cases, points, cashback and mailers are part of what makes a play profitable. How do you play unrated? I don't know. But these are a changing times for machine AP's, unfortunately.

  11. #11
    I was thinking about everything Table Mountain wanted me to do, and it all seems to center around preventing me from returning and crying foul when they press their stiff consequences.

    The paper I signed acknowledged that I understood that they would confiscate all tickets/credits/chips in the future. It also acknowledged I would be arrested.

    I'm assuming the fingerprint and the picture to help them identify me if I were to return using a fake ID (or deny having an ID and claim to be someone else).

    Since I won't be coming back, none of this stuff really hurts me to have done, aside perhaps the possibility that the info will be shared (though they could have shared my name and other personal info, with or without my cooperation.)

    I do agree with kewlJ that Indian casinos are no longer a good spot to play, and I will probably avoid them, aside from ones associated with large companies (such as Harrah's Rincon).

    I also agree that it does seem like there is more of an effort these days to crack down upon machine APs.
    Check out my poker forum, and weekly internet radio show at http://pokerfraudalert.com

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I was thinking about everything Table Mountain wanted me to do, and it all seems to center around preventing me from returning and crying foul when they press their stiff consequences.

    The paper I signed acknowledged that I understood that they would confiscate all tickets/credits/chips in the future. It also acknowledged I would be arrested.

    I'm assuming the fingerprint and the picture to help them identify me if I were to return using a fake ID (or deny having an ID and claim to be someone else).

    Since I won't be coming back, none of this stuff really hurts me to have done, aside perhaps the possibility that the info will be shared (though they could have shared my name and other personal info, with or without my cooperation.)

    I do agree with kewlJ that Indian casinos are no longer a good spot to play, and I will probably avoid them, aside from ones associated with large companies (such as Harrah's Rincon).

    I also agree that it does seem like there is more of an effort these days to crack down upon machine APs.
    The part I bolded is what would worry me in this case.

    Do you know if you have an OSN entry? If you didn't before, you probably now do, and probably one of the more detailed entries out there.

    OSN is very heavily used nationwide, and not just by tribal joints.

    Easy to say in hindsight of course, but I would have eaten the $275 and headed straight for the door in this instance.

  13. #13
    I don't know if I'm in OSN. Either way, how would heading for the door have helped me?

    They already had my name, which is how they found me so fast (when I inserted the players card and started running the freeplay).
    Check out my poker forum, and weekly internet radio show at http://pokerfraudalert.com

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I don't know if I'm in OSN. Either way, how would heading for the door have helped me?

    They already had my name, which is how they found me so fast (when I inserted the players card and started running the freeplay).
    Well, if you had a hat on they might not of had a very good picture of you. Now when you posed for the picture they got a great one. I would have said I don't understand anything you are talking about and I'm not signing anything until my lawyer reads it. If you had a slot ticket, you could have went back with someone later and had them cash it. For only a $275 ticket they don't question or ask for players card and tickets are usually good for at least 30 days.

    By the way, some folks here or for sure at BJTF have access to the OSN data base. If you are willing to trust someone with your real name they could check for you. I did that with a member at BJTF and was told I'm not in OSN.

  15. #15
    My real name is well known (Todd Witteles), so if you know someone who can check for me, I'd be happy if you could have that done.

    I couldn't have given the ticket to someone else because I don't know anyone who lives in that area, nor do I know anyone likely to visit soon. I did think of that, but realized that holding the ticket until later wasn't until later.

    The fact that I had other people sitting in the car waiting for me (including kids) made it to where I was less willing to induce delays in getting out of the whole thing. They got me at a bad time.
    Check out my poker forum, and weekly internet radio show at http://pokerfraudalert.com

  16. #16
    Big slot win at Table Mountain casino.
    Sorry link doesn't work.
    Last edited by Midwest Player; 04-22-2019 at 06:44 PM.

  17. #17
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    My real name is well known (Todd Witteles), so if you know someone who can check for me, I'd be happy if you could have that done.
    I don't have personal access to OSN, but I have a good friend who works in the pit at a strip casino. He periodically checks for entries of me and forwards the info. I don't like to ask him to do to much as I don't want to take advantage of him in that way. I think I have only asked him to look for one other person. But I did ask him to look under your name, both under the recent entries and back in November as the way OSN works is older entries get buried as new entries come in.

    He reported seeing nothing under your name. I am guessing such an entry would have occurred back in November, which is really when your trouble was. This current situation is just the result of that initial situation....whatever that is. So here is the question I have? They called you by name this recent incident, so they have your name now. Did they have your name back in November? as in where you playing rated when whatever set them off occurred?

    I mean if there was an entry made back in November, using your name, I am guessing you would have found out during play at another casino that subscribes to the service. That is the way it works with blackjack. When I was got an entry from Valley Forge in Pa, I found out when I got back to Vegas and was immediately backed off at two casinos in my regular rotation. So the fact that you haven't had anything like that is probably a good sign.

    Of course there is the possibility that an entry was not made until they "resolved" this issue, which I guess was recently, so there could still be a entry coming or that was made that isn't up to date yet, although they update pretty damn quickly. That is the purpose. But just maybe you are in the clear so far. But like I said, you will know. If you get an entry you will start getting "heat" at other places. Unless it is some kind of major thing, it doesn't take long to get buried by the new entries and most casino personnel don't go digging through all the entries unless they have a reason to. They focus on the recent activity until it is not recent any longer.

    But I am going to say this again: Things are a changing for you machine AP's. You guys are going to have to adjust just as card counters have had to do. And really, I don't know how that is going to happen for most of you because there is no playing unrated on most machine plays as the card and points/cashback are a big part of the play. There is the multiple cards thing, but boy they are cracking down on that too. I am afraid the landscape is changing for you guys.
    Last edited by kewlJ; 04-22-2019 at 07:13 PM.

  18. #18
    You don't appear to be in it AFAICT, Druff.
    #FreeTyde

  19. #19
    These databases aren't much of a threat to a known person. It would be like putting Ben Affleck in one about his card counting adventures. They are much more dangerous to the players who want to stay anonymous to casinos.

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