Posted on: August 26, 2022, 03:02h.
Last updated on: August 26, 2022, 03:44h.
For the first time, an individual without a history of cheating at gambling or involvement in organized crime has been entered into Nevada gaming regulators’ infamous “Black Book.”
The book is a list of persons excluded from all the casinos in the state — permanently. The only way to be removed from this list is to die.
The addition of Kendrick Laronte Weatherspoon, a notorious pimp with a dismal criminal history of violence against women, highlights authorities’ concern about the prevalence of sex trafficking in Las Vegas casinos.
Priority for Feds
It’s probably no coincidence that the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s decision to blackball Weatherspoon on Thursday came a day after the state’s new US attorney, Jason Frierson, announced sex-trafficking would be a priority for local federal law enforcement officials.
“We have conferences and conventions. We have the Super Bowl coming,” Frierson told a press conference Wednesday. “I think there will be opportunities for us to make it clear that Nevada is not a safe haven for sex traffickers.”
Las Vegas is one of worst destinations in the US for sex-trafficking, according to the US government. It has an estimated 5,600 victims across Nevada each year.
Casinos are fertile ground for pimps because they are places where lots of cash changes hands. They also attract patrons who are willing to spend money and take risks and are usually attached to hotel complexes.
The Black Book
The Black Book was created in 1960 in an effort to reassure tourists that Las Vegas was not 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.”
On Thursday, General Michael Somps said Weatherspoon satisfied this criterion for inclusion on the list, as did his felony conviction in Nevada.
Since 2000, Weatherspoon has 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.
At Thursday’s hearing, commissioners debated whether Weatherspoon should be singled out for exclusion from casinos when there are others like him. But they ultimately decided to make an example of the 44-year-old because he was clearly using Las Vegas casinos as a base for his operations.
The control board panel voted unanimously to throw the book at Weatherspoon.
Weatherspoon did not attend Thursday’s meeting. But from now on, if he enters any Nevada casino, it’s an automatic gross misdemeanor and incarceration.
The list was last added to in 2018, when a cheating ring was discovered at Bellagio.