Slot Cheat Added to State's Black Book

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -William Cushing, imprisoned in the 1980s for gambling-related cheating violations is facing trial in November on new slot-cheating charges, and has been added to Nevada's "black book" of unsavory types barred from casinos.

The state Gaming Commission, meeting Thursday in Las Vegas, took about 15 minutes to confirm a recommendation from the state Gaming
Control Board, its enforcement arm, that Cushing be added to the book, formally known as the state's List of Excluded Persons.

Cushing, who wasn't present for the commission meeting, was nominated following his indictment last year for attempting to cheat slot machines at two Las Vegas-area casinos.

With the addition of Cushing, the "black book" now lists 36 people. It's considered a felony if someone on the list enters a casino, and casino executives could face felony charges, if they knowingly allow a member of the book on their premises.

Cushing was indicted in September 2007 for using a cheating device on slot machines in the Boulder Station and Fiesta Rancho casinos. According to the indictment, Cushing inserted a device into a slot machine's bill validator in which it would register a wager of $100 when just $1 had been inserted into the machine. The credits were then cashed out.

In June 1985, Cushing was found guilty in the U.S. District Court in Reno of transporting stolen property and defrauding the IRS after cheating several Las Vegas Strip casinos out of thousands of dollars in fraudulent slot machine jackpots. He was sentenced to between five and seven years in prison.

Two of Cushing's associates, who were convicted with him in federal court in 1985, are "black book" members John and Sandra Vaccaro.

Cushing's trial on his latest charges is scheduled for November 17 in Las Vegas, before Clark County District Court Judge Michael Villani.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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