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Player Claims Bellagio is “Robbing Him”: Won't Return Cash for $25,000 Chips

Written by:
Payton
Published on:
Jun/16/2011
Bellagio $25000 Chip

In a Gambling911.com exclusive, a long time Bellagio poker player claims the casino resort took $50,000 of his money, exchanged the cash for (2) chips, then discontinued providing the chips and, worse, they won’t pay back the $50,000. 

The Bellagio discontinued the $25,000 chips as a result of a brazen early morning robbery at the establishment late last year.

Just yesterday, Anthony Carleo plead guilty to robbing the establishment.  More than $1.5 million dollars in chips were stolen by a gun-wielding bandit in a motorcycle helmet.  Carleo, the son of a local judge, was arrested in February following an undercover sting operation. 

While the Bellagio announced its intention to discontinue making the $25,000 chip, some poker players did not get the memo apparently.

Brian Mizok tells Gambling911.com that the has attempted to get his funds back from the Bellagio in exchange for the $25,000 chips to no avail.

He has written to Bellagio executive Bobby Baldwin in an attempt to resolve the matter. 


 

Dear Bobby,

 

My name is Brian Mizok. I am currently staying at the Bellagio Hotel

here in  Las Vegas and have been here since Thursday morning, June

2nd.  The reason I am writing this letter to you is because I am in

a dilemma that I think more  than any other executive with Mirage

/MGM Resorts, Inc. you would be most appropriate to either look

into or try to appoint the right person to handle  what has become a

very disappointing and surprising experience for me since I  

arrived. I have tried to contact you through a 3rd party and before

I come to the conclusion that the Bellagio is trying find ways to,

(there is no other  way to put it) rob me just as though I was

walking in an alley and someone  came from behind and hit me in the

head with a baseball bat, I should try to  reach out directly to you.

 

Like you Bobby, I am also a professional poker player. Although my

base is in  California these days I have been a frequent visitor to

Las Vegas and in  particular the Bellagio since it first opened its

doors and have always  trusted the facility without hesitation. Now

I find myself in a position  where I trusted the Bellagio with fifty

thousand dollars (50,000.00) of my  money and because of a

technicality that I had no knowledge of , they are  giving me every

indication that they plan on not returning to me what is  rightfully

mine. I’m sure that the legends of Las Vegas like Benny Binion

are turning in their graves at such hospitality and I’m sure you

know it.  They would not only go overboard to right a wrong they

would cover my stay  for the inconvenience.

 

What I am asking for is your help. I am an honest, loyal customer to

your facilities. Last year, June 2010, during the world series of

poker, I wired  $250,000.00 to my account at the Bellagio. Upon my

departure I received as  part of my remaining deposit, two $25,000.00 Bellagio chips totaling  $50,000.00. I never gave it a second

thought because I was sure my cash was  as safe as anywhere in the

world. I left for California and knew, like always, whenever I

returned to Vegas the chips were redeemable. Unfortunately  we all

know what happened with the motorcycle robbery between last year and

now. As soon as I heard through gambling911.com, that they were

discontinuing  the $25,000.00 chips, I immediately called the main

cashier cage at the  Bellagio. I gave the person I talked to my

information and it seemed to me  that she was writing it down. I

told her that I had in my procession the two  chips and she asked me

when was the earliest I expected to return to Las  Vegas with the

chips I informed her that I had no ability to physically  return the

chips till the World Series this year. She never informed of any

specific date that the chips would no longer be honored. Of course

if she did  I would have made special arrangements to get the chips

here by any specified  date. She simply told me that when I reached

the Bellagio just come to the  main cashier and have someone from

the poker room verify me and it will be no  problem. I never gave it

another thought. I am one of the biggest regular  players at the

Commerce Casino in Los Angeles and never heard from anyone  directly

or indirectly of any final date the chips would be honored.

 

Upon arriving at the Bellagio on the morning of June 2nd, I did

exactly what  I was told. I went to the cashier and nothing

was told it would be.  Even after being verified by the poker room,

I was informed my chips would  not be honored and that I would not

be receiving my rightful $50000.00. Now  Bobby, I understand

business, with all the negativity surrounding the  distrust with

poker, especially online where people have been and are still  being

robbed of their money, I am sure the Bellagio does not want to be  

looked upon in that same light, robbing honest customers of their

money based  on some technicality. Sure we can go through the

process of commission  hearings and even federal lawsuits to get to

a final answer, but let's be  realistic Bobby, you know more than

anyone in this town that when a gambling  business gets a reputation

of being dishonest and not honoring their chips,  it can never be

changed. I know you, your executives, your investors, and  even Mr.

Kerkorian, do not need that because of $50,000.00 that there is no

doubt that I rightfully obtained from your facility. I am stunned

and  confused at all the waysI see this casino trying not to pay me

my money  rather than trying to right a wrong. I already told one of

your people I am  willing to take a lie detector test by your own

detective agencies to further  prove that I honestly obtained the

chips and if I fail I will even pay the  costs. I am sure you know

this situation should not linger any longer. We  know a lot of the

same people and I am sure if the Bellagio really wanted to  do the

right thing by its customer it would move to resolve this now.

 

I can and wished to be reached here at the Bellagio. My room is

XXXX. My  cell phone is (949)-XXX-XXXX.

 

Sincerely,

 

Brian Mizok

 

Gambling911.com will continue to follow this story and hope it comes to a happy conclusion.

- Payton O’Brien, Gambling911.com

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