PA Casinos Banned List


Published by Danny Bradford on August 20, 2020 in Casino Tips

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This is a list you do not want to end up on. Historically, lists of people banned from casinos have served in multiple ways, from safeguarding the rights and data of the other casino players to serving as a basic security tactic.


Nevada initiated this ritual of making a list of people who were not allowed to interact with any casinos, better known as the infamous – or famous – Black Book, which first made rounds in the 1960s. The first 11 names to go on the Black Book were of members of the Mafia. Of these initial 11 men, Louis Tom Dragna was the one who remained on the list for the longest time, formally being removed from the list in 2014, two years after his death.

Officially, the Black Book is known as the List of Excluded Persons and is even available online. Today, it holds a total of 35 names and it's known as the Nevada Gaming Control Board Excluded Persons List - a little less mysterious-sounding than the Black Book. Of the newer people on the list, most are scammers who were formerly employed in the casino business.


Following Nevada's footsteps, many casinos and states have published their own blacklist, including the state of Pennsylvania, which published its own Pennsylvania Involuntary Exclusion List. But unlike Nevada's shortlist of 35 people, the Pennsylvania list is much bigger and it keeps on growing.

The first member of the list was inducted on Jan 27, 2010. Shoumin Chai had been caught at the Parx Casino, meddling with players' ATM accounts. More than 10 years and 982 members later, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is going strong and upholding its commitment to making sure that people doing illegal activities are caught by the authorities and known by casinos and players alike. Most recently, in December 2018, the board added a few more casino-related offenses to the list, making sure that even something as absurd as lighting up a trash can (this happened) is dealt with appropriately. Another crazy reason for being banned happened two years ago when a woman tipped a cocktail waitress with some cash and a bag full of methamphetamine. The woman got a lifetime exclusion from the particular casino as well as a year on probation. The complete list is available online for viewing with a mugshot of the offenders, along with a short description of why they're on the list.

Before being placed on the dreaded Involuntary Exclusion list, individuals are informed and given advance notice. They are also offered a chance to appear at a hearing and argue against their placement on the list. People who have already been placed on the list can also apply to be removed from it, but only after having been on it for five years.


Pennsylvania's Exclusion List has grown over the years, with several charges and people being placed on the list. The data provided by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board shows several reasons for people being listed, most of whom are there because of theft or cheating. The violations committed are:

  • Stealing (213)
  • Cheating (205)
  • Endangering a child (93)
  • Underage gambling (85)
  • Disorderly conduct (42)
  • Assisting an underage in gambling (35)
  • Using counterfeit currency (30)
  • Possession of a controlled substance (19)
  • Criminal activity (17)
  • Assault (15)
  • Trespassing (10)
  • Harassment (10)

A recent change has been made, though, with underage gamblers not being put on the list. The spokesperson for the board, Dough Harbach, said that, although underage gamblers were put on the Exclusion List in the past, that practice will be changed. The agency recognized that posting the information of someone less than 21 years old on a public website for underage violations could do them more harm than good, and realized the significance that such a list could have for the prospects of the underage person in question.

The spokesperson, Dough Harbach, also noted that table games provided an easier opportunity for cheating as compared to slot machines. He quoted instances where two players playing on the same table were caught exchanging information about their cards through texts to gain an advantage over the rest. A couple of others were caught exchanging their cards to make their hands superior.

The board believes that it is crucial to stay vigilant and to make sure that people do not break the code of conduct of a casino, with the list providing further assistance for casinos to make their security more efficient and effective.

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