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19/4/2002 Edition No.26

Blackjack Challenge Fails:
Casinos Allowed to Ban Counters

LATEST:

No news is good news. Here is the news...

REVIEW OF THE RULES OF THE GAME OF BLACKJACK

At its meeting held on 27 March 2001, the Victorian Casino and Gaming Authority (the Authority) determined to conduct a review of the rules of Blackjack and to call for submissions from the public and Crown Ltd.

At its meeting held on 24 July 2001, the Authority agreed that the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the review of the rules of Blackjack would be:

(a) Whether Blackjack should be considered a game of chance or should be considered a game that is partly a game of chance and partly a game of skill;

(b) Whether the Blackjack Rules should permit Crown Ltd to treat differently from other players those players who practise card counting without the use of a device;

(c) Whether card-counting without the use of a device presents a risk to gaming in the casino being conducted honestly;

(d) Card shuffling in Blackjack, in particular –

(i) The use of continuous shuffling by automatic shufflers

(ii) The frequency of shuffling following the exposure of a "cut card";

(e) Rules 3.1, 4.1.5, 4.5, and 5.12 of Blackjack.

With respect to each of the Terms of Reference, it was determined that:

(a) The game of Blackjack should be considered a game that is partly a game of chance and partly a game of skill.

(b) The approved rules for the game of Blackjack should contain provisions for counter measures against those players that are identified as using card counting without the use of a device.

(c) Card counting without the use of a device does not present a risk to gaming in casinos being conducted honestly.

(d) The rules should provide for the use of continuous shuffling machines in the game of Blackjack.

(e) There are no compelling reasons to amend the rules of Blackjack as approved by the Authority.

In conducting the Review the following factors were considered:

(a) Card counting strategies, and other strategies collectively known as Advantage Play, unless countered by the casino operator, threaten the financial viability of the game of Blackjack.

(b) The Authority has approved rules for the game of Blackjack that allow the casino operator to take counter measures that diminish the effect of card counting strategies.

(c) In approving the rules for games to be played in the casino the Authority must consult with the casino operator and shall have regard to the equivalent rules, commercial terms and regulations applicable to other casinos in Australia.

(d) Australian jurisdictions have approved rules that provide for counter measures that diminish the effect of card counting strategies.

(e) The use of counter measures by casinos has been tested and upheld in the United States.

See Uston-v-Resorts International Hotel Inc 89NJ 163- Supreme Court of New Jersey; Campione-v-Adamar of New Jersey 302NJ Super99-Superior Court of New Jersey and Grant-v-Greate Bay Casino Corp 3F.Supp.2d518-United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

(f) Some who practice card counting strategies charge that such rules are discriminatory in breach of Equal Opportunity legislation, unfair, deceptive and may be illegal in terms of Trade Practices legislation.

Such claims do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Authority to determine. They may be tested in the appropriate forum.

(g) The counter measures that are provided for in the approved rules for Blackjack are consistent with the practices adopted worldwide and enables the casino operator to properly protect itself from those who play Blackjack using card counting and other advantage play strategies.

Finding

The Authority makes the following finding with respect to the Review of the Rules of the Game of Blackjack -

The Authority confirms the existing rules and conditions for the conduct of the game of Blackjack.

Best of Betting!

‘CC’

News 22/3/2002

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