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8/6/2001 Edition No. 18

Casinos - a Law to Themselves?


A few years ago, Jupiter’s acquired their third casino in Queensland. It is located in Townsville which is the largest city in Northern Queensland and was formally owned by Sheraton. The temperature in Townsville is a perfect 26C year round. American warships and planes regularly use the city as an airbase, so you find a lot of servicemen hitting the casino during shore leave.

The casino has six deck Blackjack games with some Madness21 and Mid-Shoe entry restrictions enforced. Overall, there are surprisingly good playing conditions and easily obtainable food and accommodation comps. For those flying from Brisbane, it is best to use Virgin Blue. This is the cheapest travel option, however it only flies once a day to Townsville.

An interesting situation occurred recently in Brisbane Casino. A ‘good’ player was approached by management and told that his blackjack play was being restricted to minimum bet, one box only. After some polite discussion, he naturally asked to see the full set of blackjack rules, to confirm the casino’s rights to restrict in this way. He was told they would not and could not show him a copy of the rules.

We have found the relevant section of the Queensland Casino Control Act 1982:

Help for patrons about rules of games

64.(1) A casino operator must—

(a) when asked by a casino patron for a copy of the rules for the playing of a game, give the patron a copy of the rules for the playing of the particular game to look at;

It appears a blatant breach of the Act has occurred and as such, action should be taken against the casino operator. A complaint has been forwarded to the Queensland Gaming Commission and we await developments with bated breath.

For legal advice concerning restrictions and barrings, we recommend a new book ‘Blackjack and the Law’ by I. Nelson Rose and Robert A. Loeb. This is available through and talks about American court cases and casino incidents.


When backbetting in a splitting situation, we must decide whether the split is ‘offensive’ or ‘defensive’. An offensive split might, for example, involve splitting 3’s against a 5, where each hand has a positive expectation against the dealer’s card. In this case, it is correct for the backbettor to split also. With the defensive 8’s versus 10 split, we should be careful this time not to blindly ‘follow the leader’.

News 18/5/2001

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