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Nevada court upholds Harrah’s ban of Vegas gambler

CARSON CITY — A Las Vegas gambler who was banned from Harrah’s casinos because of alleged card counting lost an appeal Tuesday to the Nevada Supreme Court.

A three-judge panel said Steven Silverstein failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted.

Silverstein sued after he was escorted in September 2009 from a blackjack table at the Paris Las Vegas and told he would be arrested if he tried to enter any of Harrah’s western region properties.

His lawsuit sought an injunction preventing Harrah’s from banning him from its 16 properties.

In a letter to Harrah’s Chief Executive Gary Loveman, Silverstein claimed casino officials had mistaken him for someone else, and said he once had trouble registering for the World Series of Poker because his name was on the “list” of persons excluded by state regulators from entering Nevada casinos.

He said when he spoke with tournament security by phone, “they corrected the problem and there was no problem.”

Silverstein, in his letter to Loveman, said he plays blackjack three to four days a year for a few hours at a time, and never plays for “big money.”

“I can’t imagine what I could have done other than keep track of the cards and bet less or nothing when there are no aces and more when there are aces,” he wrote.

According to court records, Mark Dunn, Harrah’s vice president for legal affairs, sent a letter back, saying Silverstein is a “card counter” by his own admission.

While card counting is not illegal in Nevada, he said Harrah’s has its own policy to ban card counters from their properties.

Justices said state law, contrary to Silverstein’s arguments, “does not create a statutory individual right of access to the property of a gaming company.”

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