Casino 'black book' member arrested in Reno

John Mealey Jr., listed in the state's "black book" because of slot-cheating and other crimes, has been arrested and charged with nine counts of breaking a state law that bars anyone in the book from entering Nevada casinos.

The state Gaming Control Board said Mealey, 67, was arrested Wednesday at Diamonds Casino in Reno. He had been under surveillance since June and had been spotted placing sports bets at several clubs in Reno and Sparks, the board's enforcement division said.

Mealey, of Sparks, faces up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine on each of the gross misdemeanor counts.

Casinos can be penalized for allowing "black book" members on their premises, but the Control Board said Mealey, who had lost weight and grown facial hair, didn't look like his photo in the book. He was listed in the document seven years ago.

Mealey had been convicted of using slot cheating devices including a device that disables part of a slot machine that stops payouts once the right amount is paid to a gambler. He also has convictions for forgery and heroin possession and trafficking.

He's one of 35 people in the state's List of Excluded Persons.


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