Gaming regulators place convicted card cheat in Black Book

The Nevada Gaming Commission has banned from the state’s casinos a notorious card cheat who marked cards with invisible ink that he could see while wearing special contact lenses.

Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to place Bujar “Bruce” Kaloshi to the state’s list of excluded persons — the so-called “black book” of names of people not permitted in Nevada casinos.

The convicted card cheat has been arrested in four states for running a scam involving marking cards with invisible ink that he was able to see with special contact lenses he wore. He becomes the 33rd person on the list, which was modified in February by deleting names of people who have died.

Kaloshi, 57, did not attend the meeting, but state officials said he was given notice of the hearing.

Kaloshi, whose last known address was in Summit, New Jersey, was convicted of crimes in Nevada, Connecticut, Iowa and Louisiana in 2000, 2005 and 2009 but didn’t see jail time until he was arrested and convicted in 2013 and 2014, state Gaming Control Board officials said.

He was placed on New Jersey’s list of excluded persons by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement in March 2015.

Kaloshi has used the aliases Bujan Kaloshi, Bruce Kaloski, Jeffrey Elliott, Steve Alberts and Ken O’Brien in the past.

Deputy Attorney General Edward Magaw told commissioners that a jury found Kaloshi guilty of conspiracy to cheat at gaming in November 2000 after he conspired with two associates to cheat in blackjack games by bending or crimping cards in Reno casinos in 1998.

He was convicted of the same charge in August 2005 of marking cards in games in Las Vegas casinos.

Because Nevada statutes enable the commission to ban a player for the violation of gaming laws in any state, Magaw also noted Kaloshi’s convictions in Black Hawk County, Iowa; New London, Connecticut after an incident at the Mohegan Sun Casino; and the Parish of East Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

An August 2014 New York Times account of Kaloshi’s arrest at the Mohegan Sun said Kaloshi was discovered with facial recognition software at the casino and was questioned when Connecticut state police discovered he was wearing contact lenses as well as glasses. He admitted that he was marking cards and that the lenses “were designed to see things that you normally wouldn’t be able to see.”

The attorney general’s office’s eight-page complaint against Kaloshi said his presence in Nevada casinos “directly threatens the confidence and trust of the public based on his multiple felony convictions, his multiple convictions for the violation of gaming laws in the states of Nevada, Iowa, Connecticut and Louisiana, his notorious and unsavory reputation and his exclusion from gaming establishments in the state of New Jersey by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.”

“You look at the number of felony convictions on this individual that are listed by our legal representative and you find (incidents in) 2000, 2005 and 2009,” Commissioner John Moran said prior to the vote. “On those three alone, he received probation, and still the light bulb didn’t seem to go on for him.”

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.