American Notes Atlantic City

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Caesars Hotel-Casino in Atlantic City hit the jackpot when Brian Molony became a regular customer. In 1981 and '82, the assistant bank manager from Toronto gambled away more than $7 million at its tables. Molony bet as much as $75,000 a hand at baccarat, and in two very bad days in April 1982, he lost $2 million. To keep this high roller hooked, Caesars plied him with complimentary hotel accommodations and a private jet shuttle between Toronto and Atlantic City, as well as an $8,500 Rolex watch. The casino discovered belatedly that he had financed his bets by embezzling $10.2 million from his employer, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Arrested in Toronto in 1982, Molony is now serving a six-year prison term.

Last week the New Jersey casino control commission approved an unprecedented penalty for Caesars' irresponsible behavior, ordering the casino to close its doors Nov. 30, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a big day for gambling. Caesars stands to forfeit some $800,000 in revenue. The commission also fined six Caesars employees and ordered the gaming establishment to pay its staff for the lost day of work, including projected tips.