Casino Chip Grabber Nominated to Nevada ‘Black Book’

A man accused of stealing fistfuls of chips from tables and casino patrons has been nominated to Nevada’s so-called “black book,” its list of individuals who are forever banned from all casinos in the state.

A copy of the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s so-called ‘black book’ of excluded persons is displayed at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas. (Image: Mob Museum)

The Nevada Gaming Control Board nominated Neal Ahmed Hearne to its List of Excluded Persons at its Wednesday meeting, after watching surveillance videos of a man identified as Hearne grabbing chips from a table game at Aria in Las Vegas in January 2018.

Hearne was convicted of a crime related to the incident.

Hearne met three criteria for inclusion on the list, Senior Deputy Attorney General John Michela argued during the meeting:

  1. a prior felony conviction
  2. a conviction of a crime of moral turpitude
  3. a judicial order banning him from a casino

Gaming Control Board Chair Kirk Hendrick added that nominating Hearne for inclusion was necessary because his “brazen” actions could easily escalate into dangerous situations.

If the five-member Nevada Gaming Commission votes to concur at a future meeting, then Hearne will become the 37th person added to the black book.

A Dishonor Just to be Nominated

Hearne will be notified of his nomination and given the opportunity to request a hearing before the commission to oppose his inclusion. He can choose to be represented by legal counsel who can gather evidence to counter the allegations.

Last month, the commission unanimously voted to add Shaun Joseph Benward, a Mississippi illusionist who allegedly uses his knowledge of distraction to scam roulette dealers, as the black book’s 36th excluded person.

Every few years, the attorney general’s office will review the whereabouts of individuals on list and seek a regulatory action to purge the names of those they can confirm have died.

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