Published on: December 21, 2023, 05:13h.
Last updated on: December 21, 2023, 05:13h.
The Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously decided to include the 36th person in its List of Excluded Persons. The “black book” is known for banning individuals from all Silver State casinos for life.
Illusionist Shaun Joseph Benward, originally from Ocean Springs, Miss., has been accused of using his expertise in illusion to cheat casinos and was nominated for exclusion in September.
Benward had been previously found guilty of roulette cheating in several states and has been removed from 17 Nevada casinos. Despite being notified of the verdict, he was not present at Thursday’s commission meeting.
During the Commission’s September hearing, Michael Somps, Senior Deputy Attorney General in the Nevada Attorney General’s Office Gaming Division, stated that Benward had swindled casinos out of tens of thousands of dollars by using a scam backed by multiple news reports.
His usual modus operandi is to deceive the roulette dealers, winning their favor and securing their bet late in the game. Benward and an accomplice then try to convince the dealer of the misplaced bet, often getting it allowed, despite sometimes getting caught.
Pennsylvania, Delaware, Missouri, and Michigan have also included his name on exclusion lists besides Nevada, due to his cheating crimes.
Black book listing involves a minimum of one conviction regarding gaming laws or moral turpitude, a breach of a court order to stay out of casinos, or a scandalous and unsavory reputation, of which Benward meets all criteria.