Counting cards is not illegal in Nevada, but casinos are allowed to restrict or bar such gamblers from their venues. When Kho decided to make his exit and went to cash his chips, Hard Rock Hotel staff members asked for identification. Kho refused and his lawsuit claims that security personnel then handcuffed him on the casino floor and took him to a security office and physically searched him against his will.
Las Vegas attorney Robert Neresian represents Kho and says that the casino had a responsibility to notify the Nevada Gaming Board about the dispute. It is argued in his lawsuit that Kho did not have to provide ID ‘because casinos broadcast this information on networks for others to use to the detriment of legal gamblers such as the plaintiff’.
According to the lawsuit, Kho suffered physical injuries and emotional distress, which was termed as ‘the destruction of his vacation to Las Vegas’. Neresian is pursuing causes of action including theft, false imprisonment and battery on behalf of his client, stating in the document that the ‘plaintiff is not, and was not, a criminal’.
Representatives of the casino have so far declined to comment on the matter, but these recent events have brought more unwelcome publicity after actor Ben Affleck revealed that he was banned from playing blackjack at the Hard Rock in April 2014. Recalling the incident in Details magazine, Affleck later said: “That is a true story. I mean, that took place. I took some time to learn the game and became a decent blackjack player. And once I became decent, the casinos asked me not to play blackjack.” It will be intriguing to see the outcome of the latest dispute as Kho battles to prove that the casino had no right to confiscate his chips.