Learn Lesson From New Zealand Man in Hot Water

May 18, 2014

If you ever wondered whether it made sense to follow a casino's rules to the letter, you could probably learn quite a lesson from a New Zealander who has recently had to pay the price for violating them.

Petronius Cortez was out for an evening of fun at the baccarat tables at the SkyCity casino in Auckland, or so it appeared. Actually, his intentions were a bit more clandestine. At the tables, regardless of what game it is, the dealer calls "no more bets" and past that point, obviously no further wagers are allowed to be made. Well, Cortez either didn't adhere to such a thing or didn't understand the rules, because he began to place wagers on the table after the outcome was determined. He wound up ahead $125 because of these actions, but obviously behind in the end.

It is somewhat murky as to how much he realized about these rules, or at least that is the impression he is intent on creating. What he claims is that the dealer never said "no more bets," which, to him, was a tacit invitation to, well, place more bets. And he also says that while he was playing no one told him he was doing anything wrong. Of course, there is an "eye in the sky" that catches such behavior, and Cortez was apparently flagged some time after leaving the table. He was banned from further play at SkyCity for a period of two years, but that is not the most serious part of it.

Cortez is also charged with violating nine counts of the Gambling Act and that is not a joke, because it carries with it a maximum penalty of a year in jail or a fine of $20,000. He really can't claim that he is a complete neophyte when it comes to casinos, because he admitted that he had been a customer at this particular establishment for over a dozen years. He also admits that he has something of a gambling problem - having lost over $25,000 over a two-year period during one stretch - and that he needs to stop.

So definitely don't put your hands on the table after the dealer has started to deal out the cards. Or better yet, venture into an arena where such a thing isn't really possible, by playing in an online casino. When they declare "no more bets" in that atmosphere, you may get the temptation, but won't even get the opportunity. And you can stay out of hot water, unlike Mr. Cortez.

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