Indiana High Court Hears Card Counting Case

By Rick Howlett

Oral arguments were presented Wednesday before the Indiana Supreme Court in the case of an Indianapolis man who sued a casino after it banned him from the blackjack table for counting cards.

The attorney for Tom Donovan says the Grand Victoria Casino and Resort had no right to ban him from the game because there is no state or casino rule against card counting, a system some gamblers are able to use to mentally keep track of which cards have been dealt.

“I respectfully submit to the Court that just like the casino can make money and play by the rules, a casino patron should able to go to the casino and play by the rules. The only thing card counting is doing is slightly tipping the odds in his favor,” said attorney Marc Sedwick.

But casino attorney Peter Rusthoven says such establishments can choose not to do business with anyone and don’t need a rule.

“What my colleague and opponent in this case is suggesting to the Court is that we should look at gaming commission regulation on a kind of ‘anything not prohibited is allowed.’ Indeed, if we prohobit something, we are going to imply that everything else is allowed. I would submit to you on policy reasons that that has got to be the opposite of how we want to look at gaming regulation.” Rusthoven told justices.

A lower court sided with the casino in Donovan’s suit, but the decision was reversed by the state Court of Appeals.

Wednesday’s oral arguments can be seen here.

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