Celebrities are a welcome feature in any casino, but with conditions, as actor Ben Affleck recently discovered. Affleck was interrupted while playing Blackjack at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas by members of the security team who claimed they had seen him counting cards.
Sources differ on the exact penalty Affleck was slapped with. Some reported that he had been banned for life from the Hard Rock Casino, while CNN reported that he been banned only from playing Blackjack, which they attributed to a source close to Affleck. The LA Times reported that the casino had told Affleck that he was welcome to play any other game. The latter is more likely given not only Affleck’s Hollywood A-list status (and the Hard Rock Casino’s reputation as a celebrity hang-out) but also the fact that card counting is perfectly legal in the state of Nevada.
Ben Affleck – Card Counting
Legal or not, casinos don’t like it because card counters cost them money, but they are legally able to eject suspected card counters from their tables. It’s all fair play then and if card counters want to continue to play the game their way they have to do it without getting caught. As Anthony Curtis of the Las Vegas Advisor told the LA Times, “The science of card counting is knowing how to do it, the art is being able to get away with it.”
Affleck is no stranger to the high rollers’ table and he famously won the California State Poker Championship in 2004. He is known for betting big and winning even bigger. Business Insider reported that he had won a total of $1 million playing Blackjack at the same casino in separate incidents, a significant portion of which he allegedly gave away to casino staff as tips.
Recently Affleck was spotted playing Blackjack in Detroit, according to iGaming.org. It is known that casinos work together and the gambling news site speculated that he had moved his game to Detroit after Vegas had given him the cold shoulder.