Casino Employees Want Last Names Off Gaming Badges

Cathy Netto is a casino employee who's spent six years dealing blackjack. "The good outweighs the bad, shoot 90%-10", she said.

It was the 10% that had Netto worried. She didn't like the fact that her state issued gaming permit badge typed out her last name in bold, red letters so anybody could read it.

She said her biggest fear was that a stranger would harrass her when she got home at night. That happened on Christmas Eve. Netto got a call from somebody who played at her table a week earlier. He didn't threaten her. But he did try to ask her out. Netto figured the man got her number by remembering the last name on her badge, and looking it up in the phone book. "It's just a scary feeling," she said, "really scary."

Cathy Netto isn't the first dealer who's been called at home. She started a petition that was signed by dozens of co-workers. They'd all like to see the Mississippi Gaming Commission revamp the look of its work permit badge.

So would commissioner Len Blackwell. "I think we can make an accommodation to have their first name and have their date of expiration and other minimal information," he said, "without having to have their first and last names."

A reworked badge would sure be a welcome sight for casino employees like Cathy Netto. She'd like to do her household chores without wondering whether an unruly casino guest was about to harrass her at home.

Gaming regulations require casino workers to carry their work permit badge while they're on the job. At most casinos, those badges are attached to the lapel of a shirt, or to the waistline on a pair of slacks.