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Criminal Law Keyed to Weaver
Batin v. State
Citation:118 Nev. 61, 38 P.3d 880 (2002) (en banc)
The Defendant, Marlon Batin, began working for the Nugget Hotel and Casino as a dishwasher. After several years at the casino, he began working as a slot mechanic. As a slot mechanic his duties included fixing jammed coins and refilling the “hopper” which is the part of the slot machine that pays the coin back. The hopper is separate from the “bill validator” which is the part of the slot machine where paper currency was kept. Warren Anderson, the Defendant’s supervisor stated that the Defendant had not duties with respect to the bill validator other to safeguard the paper currency inside and that it otherwise was not to be touched.
As a slot mechanic, the Defendant was given an “SDS” card used to access the slot machine as well as identify him as the employee opening the slot machine door. In addition to registering every time the slot machine door is open or closed, the SDS system is physically connected to each slot machine and counts the paper currency placed into each machine’s vill validator. It also records the different denominations of bills and runs reports about the currency.
In March and June 1999, there were large discrepancies between the amount of money the SDS recorded had been put into the slot machine and the amount the slot machines actually contained. The Nugget’s internal auditor testified to the shortages from four different slot machines totaling in around $40,000.00. In reviewing the reports, the auditor testified she found a pattern of conduct in which the Defendant inserted his SDS card into the slot machine, opened the door, turned off the power and then closed the door on the machine. If the power is turned off, the SDS system will only record the opening and closing of the door and will not track what happens inside the machine. The auditor testified it was not necessary to turn off the slot machine to make most repairs and that no one other than the Defendant had been turning off the power off on the slot machines with the shortages. The Defendant testified that he had been turning off the power so he would not be electrocuted and that he always did this prior to making repairs.
An agent with the Nevada Gaming Control Board investigated the Defendant and discovered that he regularly gambled at three local casinos and had lost tens of thousands of dollars. When the agent questioned the Defendant about how he was able to afford to do this, the Defendant could not answer. At trial, the Defendant testified he was able to do gamble large amounts of money because he won often.
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