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Justices rule in favor of casinos

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The Indiana Supreme Court has given casinos a double win today, saying the businesses can ban card-counting and also that state statute doesn’t allow patrons to recover for losses they might incur because of problem gambling.

A pair of decisions came today in Caesars Riverboat Casino v. Genevieve M. Kephart, No. 31S01-0909-CV-403, and Thomas P. Donovan v. Grand Victoria Casino & Resort, No. 49S02-1003-CV-00124.

Justice Robert D. Rucker wrote the Kephart decision, which held no common law right exists for patrons to recover damages for casino gambling losses. This reverses a decision from Harrison Circuit Court. Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard and Justice Frank Sullivan concurred while Justices Theodore Boehm concurred in result and Justice Brent Dickson dissented.

In Donovan, Justice Sullivan wrote for the four-justice majority. Justice Rucker didn’t participate in the decision. The court ruled that state riverboat gambling statutes don’t allow a common law right for card-counting patrons to gamble in the casinos and the establishments can exclude those individuals.

Justice Dickson, in another dissent, wrote that he agreed with the Court of Appeals that the casino shouldn’t be allowed to exclude the plaintiff from playing blackjack.

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