Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Dude, That's Hard Core

Viva Las Vegas. The great thing about studying law is that people don't go to court unless something has gone horribly awry.

The case of Sheriff, Clark County v. Anderson, 103 Nev. 560, 746 P.2d 643 (1987), rev'd by City of Las Vegas v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court ex rel. County of Clark, 118 Nev. 859, 59 P.3d 477 (2002), involves a challenge to a law that I'm not at all surprised to see in Nevada. Nevada Revised Statutes 465.075 makes it unlawful "for any person at a licensed gaming establishment to use, or possess with the intent to use, any device to assist: 1. In projecting the outcome of the game; 2. In keeping track of the cards played; 3. In analyzing the probability of the occurrence of an event relating to the game; or 4. In analyzing strategy for playing or betting to be used in the game, except as permitted by the commission."

So that seems simple enough, right? You can't bring in a device that helps you calculate odds or stuff like that. But Mr. Anderson challenges the statute as unconstitutionally vague. The idea of a challenge on the basis of vagueness is that an ordinary person can't tell what conduct is forbidden, and what conduct isn't.

Well, let's see whether Mr. Anderson thought there was some genuine ambiguity in this case. It seems he went into the Westward Ho Casino. Security noticed he "exerted unusual toe movements while playing." So they confront him and tell him they suspect he is wearing "cumputer shoes." He admitted he was. I'll just quote the next bit so you can see what this guy had rigged up under his clothes.

"Anderson wore shoes and socks. The socks were cut away in order that the bare toes could input data into the computer. Switches were attached in the shoes with velcro. Anderson would push up with his toes for one, down for two, up for eight, down for four. These combinations permitted Anderson to add up to any number. Wires extended up Anderson's legs to a battery pack located in his left rear pocket. The main portion of the computer was strapped to his left calf. Inflated balloons kept the apparatus away from the skin to prevent burns. The computer sent vibratory signals to a special receiver located inside an athletic supporter. The signal told Anderson whether to hit, stand, double down, or split. The computer calculated Anderson's advantage or disadvantage with the house and advised him of the remaining cards in the deck. Anderson was arrested and indicted."

So let's review the morals of this story:

1. This guy complained that the statute in question was too vague for him to know what was permitted and what was not. Please. If it wasn't clear to you as you were hooking wires to your crotch to help you cheat at blackjack that you were breaking the law, you're an idiot. Incidentally, that's how the court ruled. (Of course, no one in Nevada is surprised when the court rules in favor of a casino).

2. THIS GUY HOOKED FREAKIN WIRES TO HIS FREAKIN CROTCH JUST TO WIN AT BLACKJACK. As I said in the title to this post, dude, that's hard core. I mean, you've got to seriously want to win if you're willing to risk anything going wrong in such a scenario.

3. No, seriously, he hooked wires to his crotch, just to win at blackjack. How insane is that?

4. Also, that's one talented crotch he must have, if he can use it to decipher four different electrical impulses and determine whether to hit, stay, double down or split. Mad props to an incredibly talented crotch.

5. Along those same lines, THE GUY HAD FREAKIN WIRES HOOKED TO HIS FREAKIN CROTCH! What could possibly possess a man to do such a thing? The lure of money? We're talking about a man's crotch here, people. There ain't no amount of money in the world, I'll tell you what.

Hard core.