Gambling is a very familiar word in the entertainment industry, especially in these times when finding an online casino is only a few clicks away. There’s no doubt that enthusiasts are shifting more towards online casinos in recent times. Even with the influx of online casinos, physical or brick and mortar casinos still have their place in the industry.
The number of casinos in the US is well over 400. These casinos are known to host high-profile celebrities from time to time. Millions of people travel to Las Vegas to gamble, with about 19 million travelers visiting the city for gambling in 2020. In the US, Las Vegas otherwise known as Sin City is popular for its high-end casinos. Talking of celebrities and gambling, Ben Affleck’s winning streak in Blackjack was short-lived after the management of Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas decided to come between him and his favorite casino game.
Who Is This Man, Ben Affleck?
Ben Affleck has spent most part of his celebrity life being a tabloid story magnet. From dealing with rocky marriages and relationships to unverified reports of gambling and alcohol addiction, looking disheveled in public, it is fair to say Ben has been through or rather seen it all. Well, in equal measure, he cannot be denied credit for being an accomplished Hollywood actor, where he gives his movie roles his all. Some of his most outstanding movie roles include Batman V Superman, Justice League, Argo (won him an Oscar), Gone Girl, and many more. After what looked like a long break from acting, Ben Affleck made a screen comeback that saw him rank among the highest-paid actors of 2020 at number 4 with $55million to his name. Back to Ben Affleck’s history with gambling, what exactly led to his ban?
You can imagine taking your ample time to master a certain game, and just when you start shining in it, you are banned from playing it. That’s what happened to Ben, a famous Hollywood Oscar-winning actor, and film director. Ben who was then married to Jennifer Garner (a high-flying Hollywood actress in her own right too), had visited Hard Rock casino as usual to play blackjack. It happened that at the moment, he was killing the game, and the casino management decided to put a stop to it. So what did the management do?
TMZ reported that Ben was caught counting his cards (nothing illegal, just a well-known winning strategy) by the casino’s security who made him stop playing. That was in 2014, and before the ban, he had already won lots of money. It was made clear that from that moment onwards, he wasn’t welcome to play blackjack at the casino anymore. Quite ironic because, the same casinos that crave celebrity attention and attendance for image boosting, were banning a celebrity from playing the only game he was good at their premises.
While Ben wasn’t fully banned from frequenting the casino, the casino made it clear that he could play other games, but not blackjack.
Ben Affleck’s Reaction Following the Ban
Ben Affleck of course had a thing or two to say about the incident and. In an interview with Details magazine, he made it clear that the gambling system is hospitable and backslapping at the same time. To him, casinos are welcoming until you start interfering with their statistical competitive edge.
Amid reports that he was accused of fraud or cheating, it also emerged that Ben had a powerful memory that could easily remember eliminated cards, making him win effortlessly countless times. It was reported by Vanity Fair that Ben had previously cashed out $800k from the same casino that banned them. Ben talked of how he had developed a soft spot for blackjack, and that’s when he decided to master the game. He pointed out how after the ban, Hard Rock Cafe Casino urged him to try out other casino games like Craps and Roulette. In the same interview, Ben addressed gambling addiction and dismissed rumors that his then-wife Jennifer Garner, was tired and sick of his gambling lifestyle.
Why is Card Counting Considered Illegal In Some Casinos?
There isn’t any federal or state law that is against card counting. Card counting is only termed illegal when players recruit other players for help with counting or use external card counting devices, electrical or manual. However, some casinos term or perceive card counting as a form of cheating. In blackjack games, card counters are placed at an advantage of between 0.5% and 1.5% over the dealer. Players are favored when they have more high cards in their deck, which include 10, Queen, king, jack, and ace.
Dealers on the other hand have the upper hand when their deck has more low cards 2,3,4,5,6. When the player has excess cards, they bet with more money, but when the card ratio doesn’t favor them, they bet with less money. This places the dealer at a disadvantage or loss, and that is why some casinos don’t tolerate card counting on their premises. There are places or casinos that allow their players to count cards all they want, without any qualms. For that reason, Ben Affleck never ran out of Casino options where he could play blackjack following Hard Rock’s ban.
Fair to say that while Hard Rock Casino banned Ben from playing blackjack on their premises, the ban didn’t prevent him from accessing other casinos, more so online casinos. Being an avid casino player he is known to be, Ben Affleck had the choice of shifting to online casinos. The actor is reported to have registered in several online casinos and other brick and mortar casinos as well only that these sites are not obliged to reveal their clients’ identity in line with their terms and conditions.