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Governor backs card counter banned by casino

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Gov. Mitch Daniels is hoping that an admitted card counter who's been banned from an Ohio River casino can soon be back at the blackjack tables.

Daniels used the story of Thomas Donovan's lawsuit, which has reached the state Supreme Court, in telling Franklin College graduates over the weekend about using skill to push the odds in one's favor.

"Donovan's sin in the casino's eyes is not that he is inordinately lucky, it's that he's inordinately smart," Daniels said. "He has taught himself to count the cards as they are played, then constantly and quickly to calculate the odds on his winning the next hand. In a game where luck still plays a large part, Donovan has through hard work learned to improve his chances."

Grand Victoria Casino and Resort at Rising Sun banned Donovan in 2006. The retired computer programmer from Indianapolis, who said he'd won about $65,000 playing blackjack since 1999, then sued.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case last month, with the casino arguing it has the right to choose not to do business with anyone.

State regulations don't prohibit card counting, and since Donovan filed his lawsuit, several casinos have asked the Indiana Gaming Commission to allow them to exclude players suspected of counting cards.

Daniels said Monday that he won't ask the commission to write a rule permitting card counting.

"If the commission on its own decides to have a look at it, I wouldn't discourage them from doing that," he said.

Gaming commission Executive Director Ernest Yelton said Daniels hasn't interfered with the commission's deliberations on the issue.

"We want to see what the Supreme Court has to say," Yelton said. "Regardless of which way the decision comes out, the commission will be dealing with this."

Daniels told the graduates Saturday that the card-counting case showed the difference between luck and good decisions.

"We can't take all the luck out of the game of life, but, through wise choices, we can shift the odds in our direction," he told the graduates. "From now on, you're the player. Count the cards, and the luck will take care of itself."

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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