A Maryland Police officer tells a detained blackjack player that card counting is illegal in Maryland, after he is accosted by casino officials and escorted into a backroom corridor in Maryland Live!
“It might be legal in your mind, unfortunately, it’s not here.”
Those are the words of a Maryland police officer, called to an incident at Maryland Live!, after 23-year old videographer, Justin Mills, was unlawfully detained by casino personnel who caught him card counting in the casino.
The Baltimore Sun reports that on Feb 20, Mills was collected from his home, in a limo provided for by the casino, and drove to the establishment where he spent the evening playing Blackjack.
At some point during the evening Mills was accosted by casino personnel and escorted to a backroom corridor where he was detained until two police officers arrived.
The ensuing incident with the police is shown on a 12-minute YouTube video that Mills has posted in his account. At the time of writing it has attracted over 3.7k views.
During the conversation with the policemen, Mills keeps asking the same question: “Can they detain me if I have done nothing illegal, or been caught cheating?”
It’s clear, through the video, that the members of police are not up to date with their ‘card counting law.’
“I have done nothing illegal.” Mills states.
“Counting cards is what they are accusing you of.” The policeman replies.
“It might be legal in your mind. Unfortunately it’s not here.” Stated the policeman.
Speaking to The Baltimore Sun, Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, takes Mills side when he says: “Card counting that is done using intellectual capacity to keep track of cards is not prohibited by state law or regulation.”
The next bone of contention then becomes whether or not law obliges Mills, to provide the casino with his identification so they can make sure he never returns?
“They need your ID So they can ban you,” says the police officer before continuing, “Now you can give them your ID, or you can come with us and we will finger print you to get your ID. You will turn around, and we will handcuff you, and take you to the station.”
The threat of cuffs worked as Mills handed over his ID.
The scene ends with the casino banning Mills for seven days, refusing to allow him to cash in his chips, and the limo service was unsurprisingly withdrawn, leaving Mills a $75 cab fare home.
Mills did not sue either party for the incident after a District Court prosecutor ‘reviewed the evidence and found it to be insufficient to proceed with criminal charges.’
Mills was down $2,800 during the action that seemingly scared the beejesus out of the casino, and they have since advised him, via letter, that he has been banned for life.