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Casino Shafts Banned Man


So you’re Troy Blackford, and you like to gamble. One day back in 1996, you’re in the Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino (owned by the County), and you get ticked at a slot machine. You punch it and yell at it. As a result you are banned from ever returning to the casino. No matter. You keep returning and losing money. A few years go by, and you request that the ban be lifted. Denied. You still keep going back. You even get added to your wife’s account, apparently due to a casino employee’s error.

Then, Blackford’s lucky day came, May 5, 2006 – or so he thought. As reported by the Des Moines Register,

Blackford … sauntered up to Dynamite Jack, a 25-cent machine that showed promise. He bet the maximum amount – 45 quarters, or $11.25 per roll – and pushed the “Spin” button.

Lights flashed. The credit-count soared. Gamblers turned and stared as Dynamite Jack delivered $7,181.25, which boosted his total to nearly $10,000.

A female employee walked over, smiled, and asked for two forms of identification.

Uh-oh. It turns out that

Banned gamblers get flagged when they win more than $1,200, when employees recognize them, or when spouses call the casino …

Police ticketed Blackford, took his winnings, read the trespass warning again, and watched him leave.

So, the casino is delighted to take your money when you lose. But when you win more than $1,200, they’re still delighted to take your money! (So the money goes to a state account to help gambling addicts. A good cause, surely, but it’s not the casino’s money to give!) Now I can see the criminal trespass charge (which was dismissed), but taking his winnings? That’s wrong. So Blackford took the case to court and … lost. He will probably appeal.

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