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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. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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