Uston v Resorts International Hotel, Inc. – 445 A.2d 370 (1982)

Case Name: Uston v Resorts International Hotel, Inc.
Citation: 445 A.2d 370 (1982)
Plaintiff: Uston
Defendant: Resorts International Hotel, Inc.

Key Facts: Defendant was excluded Uston from the blackjack tables in its casino because Uston uses a card counting strategy which allegedly increases his chances of winning money. His strategy does not violate the Casino Control Commission.

Issue: Does the right of reasonable access apply to all businesses that are open to the public?

Holding: Uston possesses the right of reasonable access to the blackjack’s tables; unless there is a valid rule by the Commission that would state otherwise.

Reasoning: Uston does not threaten the security of the casino nor has he disrupted its functions and there is no common or statutory law that could exclude him because of his strategy to play blackjack.
“The more private property is dedicated to public use, the more it must accommodate the rights which inhere in individual members of the general public who use that property.” State v. Schmid. Schmid involved the constitutional right to distribute literature on a private university campus. The court decided that when property owners open up their property to the general public, for their own private property interests, they have no right to exclude people unreasonably.
The traditional common law right of reasonable access had only applied to innkeepers and common carriers (planes, trains, buses). Uston extended that law to all businesses open to the public.

Judgment: Uston was allowed use of the blackjack tables.