PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Chesapeake resident Rudy Feuerschutz has been banned for life from the Rivers Casino Portsmouth. The reason, he says? “Possible loansharking.”
What led to the banning happened three weeks ago after a night at a blackjack table.
He said a person in casino security told him the reason was “possible loansharking.” That’s what Feuerschutz wrote to the Rivers Casino in his appeal to get reinstated there.
Feuerschutz emphatically denies any loansharking activity, but he admitted to loaning $500 to friends inside the casino on two occasions.
10 On Your Side interviewed Feuerschutz across the street from Rivers Casino because he is banned from the property.
“I was told I was engaged in loan sharking activity,” Feuerschutz said.
Three weeks ago, Feuerschutz spoke to a friend after a night of blackjack at Rivers Casino.
“He said he got banned for life for loansharking,” he said his friend told him.
So happens that the next day, Feuerschutz, who was a black card-privileged member, called his casino contact for a complementary lunch.
“He calls me back and says I have been banned for the same thing,” Feuerschutz said.
In his appeal letter to Rivers Casino, he said the explanation given was possible loan sharking given to him by someone in the security office,
“I think it is all hearsay. I do not think they have any, actually no solid evidence. I know that they don’t because I’ve never done it.”
Rudy admits to lending money twice, but not to loansharking.
“I lent a friend of mine $500 twice at the table on a double-down hand, which he paid me back that night,” Feuerschutz said.
How much interest did he charge?
“It’s not loan shaking,” he said. “I charged nothing. We were friends.”
In his response to the Rivers Casino Portsmouth Ban Committee, Feuerschutz included the definition of loan sharking — “lending money at extremely high interest rates.”
“I’ve had people give me $100 on the side and never collected interest,” he said. “Just giving my friend help, and there are no signs in the casino anywhere stating you can’t loan anyone money.”
10 On Your Side spent the day trying to get an explanation from Rivers Casino, but it did not answer specific questions, including the reason for Feuerschutz’s banning.
“Like most large-scale entertainment venues, we are committed to prioritizing a standard of conduct that preserves our guest experience,” said Kelli Webb on behalf of Rivers Casino Portsmouth in a statement. “The guidelines for determining what behaviors are unacceptable at casinos in the Commonwealth of Virginia are determined by the Virginia Lottery Board and the casino operator.”
After getting the casino’s statement, we asked Feuerschutz again if he charged interest.
“No, never, so this can’t be loansharking,” he said. “It was never loansharking, and there was never any intent to charge interest.”
River’s Casino wrote to Feuerschutz: “His submitted request to have your ban removed has been denied at this time.”
The casino believes Feuerschutz did something wrong, but he said it was most-certainly was not loansharking.