Counterfeit Casino Chip User Could be Next Addition to Nevada’s ‘Black Book’

Posted on: October 7, 2022, 11:44h. 

Last updated on: October 7, 2022, 11:44h.

Leonard Morgan Hairston could become the latest person added to Nevada’s “Black Book.” That would mean the convicted casino cheater would be permanently banned from entering any Nevada gaming property.

NGCB member Philip Katsaros
NGCB member Philip Katsaros, pictured above. He backed the inclusion of Leonard Morgan Hairston in Nevada’s Black Book. That would ban him from ever again entering a casino in the state. (Image: Zoom)

On Wednesday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) nominated Hairston, a Las Vegas resident, to be included on the infamous list. It is formally known as the Excluded Persons List.

Hairston is a repeat offender. He’s been arrested on 34 occasions, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Many of these counts led to convictions for crimes linked to the use of counterfeit casino chips at the state’s casinos, the Review-Journal added.

When speaking to the board, NGCG Nevada Deputy Attorney General John Michela described Hairston as a “serial gaming offender incapable of staying out of trouble.”

NGCB member Philip Katsaros agreed.

Clearly, he’s kind of a menace to our regulatory oversight of the casinos,” Katsaros told his fellow board members. “I would shudder to think how many more agents we might need if there were many others engaging in the levels of criminal activity that this individual has done.”

The next step in the process of adding his name to the list is consideration by the Nevada Gaming Commission. The commission could review the evidence and take a vote in the next couple of months.

Katsaros is no stranger to regulatory and compliance issues related to gaming properties. He has been CEO of Certus Gaming USA, Inc., a gaming systems supplier, as well as head of business development for Inspired Gaming’s Virtual Sports. Earlier, he worked at IGT, where he focused on compliance matters.

Katsaros was an agent for the NGCB’s Tax and License Division at the start of his career. He additionally worked at the NGCB’s Corporate Securities Division, where he was a senior agent and special agent.

History of the Black Book

The Black Book first was created in 1960. It came about in an effort to show tourists that Las Vegas casinos weren’t run by the Mafia.

It targets individuals with “a notorious or unsavory reputation that would adversely affect public confidence and trust that the gaming industry is free from criminal or corrupt developments.”

Only 36 other people are included on the list. The only way to be removed from this list is to die.

Most of those on the list have a history of cheating at gambling or they are connected to organized crime

Weatherspoon Named to List

But in August, Kendrick Laronte Weatherspoon, a notorious pimp with a history of violence against women, was included on the list. His inclusion signaled the NGCB’s concern over the prevalence of human trafficking cases involving casinos in Nevada.

Since 2000, Weatherspoon faced 30 cases in the Las Vegas Justice Court. Charges include drug dealing, impaired driving, burglary, domestic battery, sex trafficking of an adult, battery by strangulation, sexual assault, kidnapping, and accepting the proceeds of prostitution.

He has been thrown out of at least five Las Vegas casinos for his activities.