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Feng Shui, Vegas-Style

Half of the $2 million debt was incurred while playing on credit. He wants the Venetian to cancel the entire debt, or he'll sue, claiming "feng shui sabotage."

Feng Shui, Vegas-Style

I’ve now got a new reason to recover some of the dough I’ve happily handed over to casinos: interior design.

If I see a lamp in the wrong corner, or if the room is facing the wrong direction, it apparently affects luck. No wonder I’ve crapped out on four-to-the-royal about a thousand consecutive times. The damn lamp was out of place!

You may think I’m just being my usual wacky, madcap self here, but it’s not as far out as you think. In fact, a guy from Taiwan is threatening to sue the Venetian in Las Vegas to recover $2 million he lost. The basis for his threat? According to the Associated Press, he says the casino “used feng shui to cause his losing streak.”

The guy’s name is Yuan, but that surname is the only identification he’s given. So, he’s kind of like Cher.

Anyway, according to the report, Yuan charges that “the Venetian dug a one-meter square hole on the wall of the presidential suite he was staying in April last year and covered it with a black cloth.”

He also says the Venetian put two white towels in front of his suite, and, the story says, “turned on two large fans without notifying him.”

The bastards!

Yuan says that after he discovered these dastardly actions, his luck went south. He went from winning $400,000 to losing $2 million.

“We Chinese drape black and white cloths only when there is a death in the family. It is such a taboo for regular people, let alone for the gamblers,” he was quoted as saying.

Half of the $2 million debt was incurred while playing on credit. He wants the Venetian to cancel the entire debt, or he’ll sue, claiming “feng shui sabotage.”

Now, I have a lot of respect for Asian traditions, and I honor anyone’s right to believe in the many superstitions related to gambling that the Chinese have. I even got really excited last year when Sam’s Town gave me Room 888. (The Chinese lucky number 8 didn’t work for me. It turns out my lucky number is 3,467. And it almost never comes up.)

But please.

I honestly find it hard to envision a Venetian maintenance man with a drill, lying on his belly making a hole in the wall of a presidential suite because his boss told him that a Taiwanese guy was winning too much.

“Sal, go up to Suite 432 and drill a hole in the wall, will you? Oh, and make sure you cover it with a black cloth. Wait, do you think that’s enough? No, I know! Put a couple of towels in front of his suite. That should do it. OOOH! And FANS! Turn on the fans! Yeah!

“See how you like that, Mr. Lucky! Nothing left to do but sit back and collect the money!”

As I said… Please.

You want to know the strangest part of this whole story? The Venetian is reportedly planning to give the guy some money. They plan on paying him off with $100,000 in cash and another $100,000 in chips, if he’ll take it. They call it a “reasonable” solution.

Come on! That does it. The next time I lose—and, by the way, I’m sure it won’t be long—I’m suing.

“Your honor, my client was winning all night at video poker, and began losing only after the casino intentionally placed a comic book in front of his hotel room door—let the record show it was Archie’s Pal Jughead—and placed a napkin soaked in Smucker’s Apple Butter facing East in front of my client’s bathroom. Clearly, this was an intentional and malicious breach of trust on the part of the casino.”

Naah. I’m gambling in the hundreds at most on a given night. I suppose I have to be throwing a couple of mil on the green felt to really have a chance at success with the feng shui defense.

Somehow, though, I don’t think Yuan is going to accept the settlement of a couple hundred grand. That means this will go to court.

Then the real fun begins. I’d be interested to see how a Nevada jury feels about a casino’s intentions with respect to drilled holes and towels in front of a door.

Yeah, I know. The way casinos are hurting for high rollers these days, the Venetian may increase its settlement offer, just to get Yuan’s business back.

Then, of course, I’m going forward in court with my Smucker’s Apple Butter argument. Hey, feng shui is feng shui, right?

Who’s Yuan’s lawyer?

Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.  

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