Jon Hein Talks the Time He Was Kicked Out of a Casino After Being Accused of Counting Cards at a Blackjack Table

“I brought $2,500 to gamble … within the first 3 hours I lost $2,499,” the staffer recounts of a past trip to Las Vegas

February 17, 2021

Jon Hein has long been known as the Stern Show’s resident TV expert and fast food critic, but on Wednesday morning the staffer offered a glimpse into one of his hitherto undocumented passions: gambling.

The subject arose when his friend and colleague JD Harmeyer revealed he’d sometimes turned to Jon for sports betting tips. “I know about his gambling, uh prowesses, or whatever,” JD said. “If he’s in Vegas or Atlantic City he’s going to the craps table.”

Howard could barely believe it. “You always seem so sensible to me,” he told Jon. “I’m shocked about your gambling. I didn’t know this about you.”

“Look, I enjoy gambling. I’m very happy that I live in a state that doesn’t have legal sports gambling,” Jon said. “I have an itch. When I was younger it was bad, but now I manage it pretty well.”

As under control as his gambling may be these days, he still managed to get kicked out of the Tropicana a few years back after the casino accused him of counting cards at the blackjack table. “I was in Vegas for a week for two friends’ bachelor parties,” Jon recounted. “I brought, I don’t know, $2,500—$500 a day—to gamble. Within the first three hours I had lost $2,499 of it.”

“I had to stick around for the next four days as my buddies were gambling,” he continued. “So … I would bet and then I would take down my bet because I didn’t have any money, you know?”

Jon’s unconventional betting pattern may have been innocuous, but his blackjack dealer thought it indicated he was up to something fishy. “She calls the pit boss over and goes, ‘This man is counting cards,’” he recalled. “I go, ‘Would I be betting $10 a hand?’ I got really upset and the pit boss asked me to leave.”

The staffer did not go quietly.

“I was like, ‘Are you crazy?’ So, of course, I walk out telling everyone, ‘The Tropicana is the worst hotel in Las Vegas!’” Jon recalled. “I literally went nuts. I was so pissed.”

Howard empathized with his staffer’s frustration but struggled to imagine the normally calm and collected Jon Hein being dragged from a casino, kicking and screaming. “This is amazing. This is more shocking than the fact you got all these blowjobs in college,” he concluded.

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