Walter J. Murphy Associates
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Contact:     John Donnelly, Esq. 609.348.1300

Federal Judge’s Action
To Affect Card Counters

Camden, NJ . . . A decision, handed down in U.S. District Court by Judge Joseph A Greenaway, Jr. on December16, 2004 will have a chilling effect, nationwide, on a type of professional gamblers known as card counters, .
     A lawsuit, brought against a security firm that identifies card counters was instituted by a Canadian card counter, Alexander Lascaris who also played under the alias, Jim Dimitri Nikolakakos. The lawsuit claimed that the information developed by the defendant firm, Griffin Investigations, Inc., identifying Lascaris as a card counter, was in fact a credit report  and had a severe negative effect on Laskaris’ credit reputation. Lascaris claimed further that the Griffin methodology was subject to terms and restrictions contained in the FederalFair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
     Card counters generally earn their money by using a system known as ‘basic strategy,’ in trying to defeat the casinos while playing the game of blackjack. In so doing, the card counters place conservative bets until  a certain critical point in the game when they dramatically increase the amount they bet on the hands dealt to them. In some cases, the card counters work in teams in which they prevent other unsuspecting casino customers from sitting at a blackjack table. When the critical point is determined by the card counting team leader, each team player dramatically raises the amount bet on their hand being played. The casino industry has devised successful strategies to counter these card counters and card counting teams.
     Previous lawsuits brought against the casino industry by card counters and card counting schools have been defeated in courts where it has been determined that the casino industry has the legal right to defend against such card counting and betting tactics. In view of this past legal history, Lascaris, who represented himself, Pro Se,  instituted his suit claiming that the casino industry, via their security contractors, was interfering with his ability to obtain credit at casinos, to play blackjack, and harming his reputation and ability to find work in that industry, in violation of FCRA.
     In his decision, Judge Greenaway dismissed Lascaris’ complaints without prejudice.
     Griffin Investigations, Inc. was represented by attorney John Donnelly of the Atlantic City Law Firm of Levine, Staller, Sklar, Chan and Donnelly.
     “This is another in a series of lawsuits that so-called card counters have brought, in a campaign against casinos nationwide, that one judge had termed ‘guerilla warfare.’” We are gratified the court threw out this baseless litigation,” said John Donnelly, the attorney representing Griffin Investigations, Inc.