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Rampages and Cons

Meet me buck-naked at the gas station

Rampages and Cons

Once in a while, the lead sentence in a news piece will just grab you and make you want to learn more. Like this one, from the New York Post:

“An out-of-control Long Island man went on a buck-naked rampage in Sin City, allegedly slugging a one-legged man before streaking into a casino.” They had me at “buck-naked rampage.” I try to take in as many buck-naked rampages as I can. In fact, if there was a Broadway play called Buck-Naked Rampage, I’d probably go see it.

But there’s more. After he “streaked” into the casino, according to the article, he was caught on video “flaunting his genitalia while gyrating” on top of a poker table.

I hate when that happens. There’s a pile of chips in the middle of the table, and you land the straight flush on the river, and just about when you’re ready to go all-in, there’s some hairy wild man bumping and grinding, and scattering the chips.

Anyway, security guards were eventually able to wrestle him to the ground. (Very carefully, I’m guessing.) He was gyrated to the slammer and charged with disorderly conduct and indecent exposure.

Police said the guy was in an “altered mental state.” According to KVVU-TV News, after he was arrested, the 35-year-old wild man claimed he had no memory of his poker-table twerk. (I really hate when that happens.)

I wonder if they finished the poker hand. I hope they at least hosed down the table afterward.

Moving on, what in the name of Dionysus and John Denver is going on with these people who have been carrying sacks of cash out of casino cages?

(What, you never heard of that expression? You have something against John Denver?)

There have been multiple stories of casino employees who claim they got a phone call or text from, they thought, one of their bosses, who instructed they grab hundreds of thousands in cash out of the cage and deliver it somewhere off property.

The first time this happened, the lady claimed someone who sounded like an “executive” told her it was vital that she deliver a heap of cash to satisfy some debt, and to deliver it to a gas station parking lot. (You know, like you do.) I remember reading she thought she could be in trouble as she drove back to work. That was right before she got arrested.

Now comes this story where a cage supervisor at the Eureka Casino Resort removed $250,000 from the cage and, according to 8 News Now in Las Vegas, “drove to Las Vegas to deliver the money to a person who she believed was owed money for hand sanitizer.”

Yes. A quarter million dollars worth of hand sanitizer. There must have been some serious grimy, parasite-infected sludge going on around this casino cage. Or, she just made it up. Either way, get this:

She delivered the hand-sanitizer bulk fee to… wait for it… a gas station parking lot.

What is it with gas station parking lots that makes them a good location to unload sacks of cash from a casino cage? Beyond that, how can a reasonable person think these employees could ever hear instructions to deliver cash to a gas station parking lot down the street from the casino, and respond, “OK! You’re the boss! I’ll put the money bags in my trunk. Dumm-dee-dumm…”

In this case, the story goes, someone called the supervisor and asked her to look for a check made out to a vendor that was in the cage. When, remarkably, there was no check at the cage, the mystery man told her to take out the cash, which she delivered in a cardboard box. (I would have gone with burlap sacks, but hey, that’s just me.) When she got there, a cloak-and-dagger bit ensued. Her phone rang, and she was told to put $15,000 into a bitcoin machine, but the bitcoin machine was out of order.

Isn’t that always the way?

She claims she was then told to deliver the cash to another gas station. No word on whether there was a bitcoin machine there. But I think they had Slurpees.

In the end, this scheme and several others were attributed to one Erik Gutierrez-Martinez. He was the guy in the gas station parking lots here and apparently near several other Nevada casinos. Allegedly, he’s done this same scam at casinos in Las Vegas, Mesquite and Laughlin. He was arrested with bundles of money from the Circa.

I get all that. It’s the defense strategy I can’t fathom. Two hundred fifty thousand dollars for hand sanitizer.

I hope they sent some of it to that poker table.

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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