Gambling & Casino Meltdowns
By Alex J. Coyne © Great Bridge Links
Anger and frustration are standard human emotions, but for some people it works like popping the cork on a bottle of champagne and the emotions hit the roof foaming instead. We’ve dug through headlines and history to look for some of the most spectacular gambling-related meltdowns on the casino floor. If you can’t handle the pressure, should you be placing the bet?
Frank Sinatra’s Raw Deal
An article from the archives of the New York Times that was first published in 1984 tells the story of famous crooner Frank Sinatra and his abrupt cancellation of a series of gigs at the Golden Nugget casino. According to Sinatra, the decision to cancel the series of concerts scheduled between the 5th and 9th of September was taken because he felt personally insulted by the casino commissioner.
The casino commissioner Joel Jacobson had a different story to tell and reported that one of the Nugget’s blackjack dealers was forced into dealing a game of blackjack between Sinatra and Dean Martin “in an illegal fashion.” He also went on to refer to Sinatra as “an obnoxious bully” and to denounce the entire event as “temper tantrums.”
According to the article, the gambling incident saw the dealer dealing a card from his hand instead of the shoe. At this point, the dealer claimed intimidation – and Sinatra claimed ignorance of the law, coming from a state with different laws on dealing specifics.
Still, they must have eventually buried the hatchet: Live from Las Vegas was released in 2005, and was a recording of a 1986 concert Sinatra held at the Golden Nugget.
Our readers down under might be interested in this great listing of the 10 best online casino sites NZ presented by Casino HEX.
Not the Lopez Way
George Lopez’s self-titled sitcom ran for six seasons and 120 episodes – and there have been several other shows that didn’t have nearly as long of a run, including Lopez Tonight, Saint George and Lopez. In 2014, he made headlines for something completely different when news reports came in that he had been arrested at a Caesars casino in Windsor, Ontario for public intoxication – in short, he was a little too close to the floor part of the casino floor.
Of course, he tried to turn the experience into a joke instead, later saying, “I did to Canada what Justin Bieber did to America!” Nobody was laughing, and we’d guess that’s because their net worth differs 265 million to 45 million respectively; it’s not exactly as profitable as Bieber’s take on it, now is it?
Phil Helmuth’s Meltdown(s)
Phil Helmuth is a damn good poker player – but at the same time, he’s also been referred to as the brat of the poker table, and when things aren’t going his way then he’ll be sure to let the other players know about it, often in the loudest and most obnoxious way possible.
We’re not kidding. This has happened so many times in the poker room that PokerStars have put together a YouTube video of their top five Phil Helmuth meltdowns.
His latest meltdown happened during the 2018 World Series of Poker and ended with Phil storming off the set. We guess you can just watch the full video for yourself and wait for the next one when another year’s big poker tournaments come around.
Axed! And More
Slot machine violence is bigger than you might imagine. In fact, an article published in the Boston Globe reported in 2012 that people punching slot machines in pure frustration had become so widespread that it can be considered a “national crime wave.”
One famous case saw a man from Iowa charged with punching a touch-screen slot machine and causing an estimated $2, 000 in damage in the process. According to King, he did this because he was frustrated over his loss – or he might just have figured that you can “fix” a slot machine just like a really old television by giving it a whack.
Later news reports including the WFC Courier later say that the charges against King were dropped.
Where does the axe fit into this story? A man from Northeastern Italy decided to take an axe to a slot machine after losing an estimated $6, 000. This raises a lot of questions, including how he got the axe into the casino in the first place. It almost sounds too weird to be true, and we could agree – if the whole thing hadn’t been caught on surveillance cameras and made its way to YouTube.