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From country to city, From farm to fireworks…Through marriage & children, Through employment & ownership, Life continues to be an amazing journey…

Thursday, February 23

Big Six, Thighs, & Videotape

Video Sharing at DropShots.com

In my last “casino story”, Be Kind To The New Guy, one of my wonderful comment readers Digital Brownshirt expressed that he wasn’t particularly a gambler (a good thing) and asked if I knew of any “low-buck” games like in Vegas Vacation. He reminded me of a VV story of a lifetime, I must share with all of you.

Bayou Caddy’s Jubilee was a casino I worked at in Mississippi. It was also the place where I achieved the highest management position I ever held in this career. Being in upper management in ANY gambling establishment will enlighten you to “happenings” beyond many you will ever experience in a lifetime.

Casinos in Vegas or Reno do not close. However, in Mississippi it occasionally happens. During one minor impending hurricane, Bayou Caddy’s Jubilee had to close. When it’s deemed too unsafe for patrons, gulf coast casinos close. With that decision kicks into a plan that involves hours more work. Crazy amounts of cash have to be secured, games lock down, MANY “things” happen to secure millions of dollars in capital interest.

Usually, a few people lag behind. Namely a head of security or surveillance, and often owners. This day, the owners and upper echelon remained with a few “invited” cocktail waitresses and the lone security designee down in the hull. After all hurricane protocol had been followed (when I left two guys in SUV’s drove side by side to create a water wake so I could drive my Mazda Protégé through water up to my lower doors), and the casino was “empty”…the party began. Most people will never have the opportunity to be inside a large casino empty and closed down, but it is an incredibly haunting and eerie existence.

Most casinos have a “Big Six Wheel”. Most know it as the Wheel Of Fortune. It is a huge wheel that spins, and you may place bets on the table according to which spot you believe the wheel will land on. It’s called big six, as there are six denominations with a chance to win, i.e. $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, and a Joker and Clown that pay $40. This wheel is usually placed by the front door, or some other popular exit. On this day, the big wigs were sitting at big six watching out the doors observing weather. A phone call was made to surveillance to turn the cameras off. As most you and I would have done, the security director kindly agreed…but “accidentally” hit the ZOOM IN button instead of the OFF button. The Hurricane Party commenced.

These dumb asses proceeded to get drunk, break out small cash from their pockets (all gaming chips were locked away now) and give the “sweet virgin waitresses” a chance to “be real dealers” and spin the wheel. In their drunken stupor, the Big Six rules changed and evolved. After some time, it became a new game called “Strip Big Six”, AND it was video taped.

Gaming laws in Mississippi at that time were much stricter than in most venues. Employees were not allowed to gamble where they worked. Gambling, period was only dedicated to operating hours when legal games take place involving licensed dealers and chips on the table. Alcohol was controlled by ABC (Alcohol Beverage Commission), and only during legal hours of operation was alcohol to be consumed, and topless or bottomless behavior was only accepted by properly licensed establishments… You see where this is going, A LOT of laws were broken that day no matter your views on “innocent” people just weathering out a storm. There were recorded images of men in boxer shorts (over 60) and scantily clad “southern belles” wearing some of their gifts from God.

After this news broke, the casino was fined $50,000 and the liquor license was revoked for a period of time. We were 55 miles from New Orleans, LA, but the headlines in their paper read: “Big Six, Thighs, and Video Tape”. Thanks to the liberal government officials, (and I don’t mean Democratic, I mean most guilty of something), the punishment was far less than allowed by law. Imagine a bustling casino with plenty of competition around NOT able to serve any alcohol. How did they survive one might ask? They survived as any capitalist group would. A very bright and illuminating red light was shone upon the Big Six Wheel, and a sign was posted nearby that read, “You Missed Last Call For Alcohol, Stay Tuned For Updates.”

The surveillance guy just never came back. Rumors had it that the TV show Inside Edition was going to air the tapes, which too mysteriously faded away. The casino offered many “freebies” during that time including a 2 ton free crawfish boil party, and other complimentary gestures. People are morbidly curious, and the BAD publicity probably drew as many people as normal, but I saw the numbers, it did cost them immensely. Eventually many other things (mostly bad "stupid" genes in the blood) led to the owner doing time in jail.