Chip Grabbing Felon Latest to Make the Infamous Vegas Black Book

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
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The latest individual to be added to the infamous Las Vegas Black Book is a chip grabbing thief by the name of Neal Ahmed Hearne.  Those appearing in the book are prohibited from entering any Nevada casino establishment. 


The Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously approved of placing the North Las Vegas man in the book, which now contains 37 names.  Hearne was nominated for inclusion back in January.

Security surveillance footage at one point shows the man walking up to a blackjack table at the Aria and scooping up a handful of chips.  He was arrested and convicted in 2018. 

Senior Deputy Attorney General John Michela told the Nevada Gaming Commission that Hearne fit three criteria for inclusion, though only one of the three needs to apply in order to appear in the dreaded Black Book:  Having a prior felony conviction, having a conviction of a crime of moral turpitude and receiving a judicial order banning him from casinos.

Hearne is not exactly your typical Black Book entrant as members mostly comprise of mobsters and fraudsters as well as casino cheats.

“Are we, as a Nevada Gaming Commission, going to place anyone who’s grabbed chips from a table in a casino on the excluded list? Commissioner Brian Krolicki asked. “Or if they’ve done it more than 10 times? I just want to make sure of whatever precedent we’re setting, or if this is something we want to do as a policy going forward, great, let’s do it.”

Some of the early entrants included the likes of John Louis Battaglia, Michael "Trigger Mike" Coppola, Louis Tom Dragna, Sam Giancana, and Tony “The Ant” Spilotro, all of whom were alleged mob associates.

Last year, a magician, Shaun Joseph Benward, made it into the book for engaging in schemes to defraud casinos while playing roulette by distracting dealers using an accomplice and placing a late bet.

- Jagajeet Chiba,

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