Trump Plaza loses appeal of discrimination penalty

Oct. 19, 1992

TRENTON, N.J. -- The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino has lost a bid to overturn a $200,000 penalty imposed because managers catered to the presumed prejudices of a high roller by removing a black dealer from his table.

A New Jersey appeals court upheld a ruling by the Casino Control Commission.

The court also ruled that the penalty, one of the highest ever from the Division of Gaming Enforcement, was not disproprotionate to the offense.

The gambler, Robert Libutti of Secaucus, has been barred from Atlantic City. Libutti had allegedly boasted of ties to reputed Gambino crime family boss John Gotti.

Libutti, a race horse broker, lost millions of dollars in Atlantic City. Witnesses testified that managers at several casinos would transfer both black and women dealers to other tables.

A two-judge panel said most of the witnesses for the Trump Plaza were high-ranking executives who had 'an identity of interest' with the casino, while many of those who testified for the Division of Gaming Enforcement were current employees who were risking their jobs by testifying against their employer.

'In our view, the transcript fairly reeks of Trump Plaza's guilt,' the judges said.

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