The online petition was started by Las Vegas poker pro Nick DiVella, a regular at the Aria poker room after his original request to the casino’s management was ignored. To date, his online petition and has received some 200 supporters.
Lederer has been implicated by the US Department of Justice in the Black Friday fraud and money laundering scheme, though he has not been criminally charged. There is a civil suit against him by the DoJ for more than $40 million.
Lederer has returned to play live poker at the famous high stakes poker rooms at both Aria and Bellagio casinos, the “Ivey Room” and “Bobby’s Room”. Both casinos belong to MGM Resorts. He also played at the $10k Festa al Lago Classic main event at Bellagio last month.
DiVella believes that Lederer’s presence at the poker tables threatens the integrity of the game. He earned his living playing on Full Tilt Poker before the site was shut down and has money stuck on the site but maintains that his efforts are more about principal than the money.
DiVella wrote on Twitter “This movement goes for Bellagio & any other poker event around the world. Aria is my favorite place to play, wish I didn’t pick on them.”
In response to DiVella’s petition, poker pro Isaac Haxton said “I think players should feel free to make him feel unwelcome and I think it takes some real audacity on his part to show up, but I hope Aria doesn’t give in to the pressure of the petition. Casinos are not in the habit of barring white collar criminals and as of now Howard isn’t even convicted of anything.”
DiVella’s efforts have gained both support and backlash from the poker community.