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Gambling pro a suspect in San Diego County casino cheating case

Archie Karas, who once turned $50 into $40 million, is arrested on suspicion of card-marking to win $8,000 at the Barona Casino.

September 27, 2013|By Tony Perry
  • Anargyros Karabourniotis is suspected of marking cards so he could know the value of each card being dealt.
Anargyros Karabourniotis is suspected of marking cards so he could know… (Jessica Hill, AP )

SAN DIEGO — A famous Las Vegas high roller has been arrested on suspicion of winning more than $8,000 from a San Diego area casino by cheating at blackjack.

Anargyros Karabourniotis, 62, known in gambling circles as Archie Karas, was arrested at his home in Las Vegas on suspicion of "card-marking" at the Barona Casino in eastern San Diego County and winning more than $8,000.

The incident occurred in July and was caught by the surveillance cameras operated by the Barona Gaming Commission, according to San Diego County Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis.

"This defendant's luck ran out," Dumanis said.

Karabourniotis is being held without bail in Las Vegas. An extradition hearing is set for Monday.

Karabourniotis is suspected of marking cards so he could secretly identify the value of each card being dealt.

Karabourniotis is known for having turned $50 into $40 million in a three-year span, only to lose it all by late 1995. The streak is known simply as the Run.

The investigation into the Barona incident involved the Barona commission, the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Gambling Control and the San Diego County district attorney's office.

Karabourniotis has been arrested four times previously by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

"Karas has been a threat to the gaming industry in many jurisdictions," said the board's enforcement chief Karl Bennison.

tony.perry@latimes.com

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