Trump Plaza Fined $450,000 For Giving Cash Comps to High Roller
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) _ Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino was fined Wednesday for providing luxury cars to a high roller in a scheme that allowed him to exchange the vehicles for $1.6 million to gamble.
The Casino Control Commission voted 3-0 for the $450,000 penalty and rebuked the casino for its effort to evade then-existing bans on cash complimentaries.
The fine was the second largest in the city’s 13 1/2 -year history of legal gambling, trailing only a $612,000 fine levied last month against Caesars Hotel and Casino for repeatedly rebating portions of gamblers’ losses.
State investigators contended Trump Plaza provided Robert Libutti with nine cars, including Ferraris and Rolls Royces, which he exchanged for cash in 1988 and 1989 and deposited at Trump Plaza.
Officials said the casino would buy the car from the dealership, but that Libutti would never take title. The dealership would then sell the vehicle to somebody else and Libutti would get the cash, investigators said.
Deputy Attorney General Wendy Way of the state Division of Gaming Enforcement told the commission the casino concocted the scam to keep the business of Libutti, who lost a total of $4.34 million at the gaming hall over the period.
Trump Plaza attorney Brian Spector said the casino made a good-faith effort to see Libutti received the cars. He added the Legislature since amended the law to allow a casino to give its patrons cash complimentaries.
The commission said cash comps remain prohibited, however, until it sets a limit on them, and that the amendment should not apply retroactively.
Libutti’s name has surfaced several times in unrelated disciplinary matters with Trump Plaza and other casinos.
He is barred from entering the casinos for alleged organized crime ties, and prompted large fines for Trump Plaza and other gaming halls that were found to have moved black and female dealers in response to racist and sexist tirades he made at the craps tables.