Anyone who visits the strip in Las Vegas will be thrilled with the lights and the sounds of winning. The excitement often leads players to the point of cheating, trying to beat the house and walk out a winner. While cheating can possible go undetected, Las Vegas casinos take this very seriously and each casino will use security measures to ensure that no visitor is cheating when they play any game offered. Read on to learn how these casinos use surveillance and cheating methods that are used by those that are willing to take the risk.
State of the Art Surveillance
No casino in Vegas will take the chance of being cheated out of money. These casinos spend millions of dollars on their security teams and devices. Oddly enough, the thousands of cameras and hundreds of security team members cover just the casino floor, leaving the hotel and its guests out of the loop. An article for The Associated Press revealed some scary facts for guests. It was found that 23 of the 27 huge Strip casino sites have absolutely no cameras or security measures in place in hotel hallways or elevators. This makes it quite obvious that the millions spent on security is done only to protect the money in the casino, not its patrons.
In the same article, the expenses for security were summarised for some of the midsized hotels. It states, “A midsized hotel might pay $2 million to install the system and $100,000 a year to monitor it, according to Art Steele, who directed security at the Stratosphere Las Vegas from 1996 to 2009. The casino, located between the Strip and downtown, is one of the few to install cameras in its hallways. Steele said they helped every day.”
When it comes to the casino floor, owners of casinos will take every measure to prevent cheating and the loss of any money. All action on the floor is recorded by hundreds of cameras and video surveillance devices, also known as “eyes-in-the-sky”. Casinos will spend large amounts of money to hire the best security team members, many of which have been former police officers or sheriffs. When it comes to casino security and the protection of money, there is nothing left to chance.
Common Casino Cheating Methods
Casinos are aware of the methods that are used by cheaters and casino security members and those that are working the floor are trained to detect the most common methods of cheating. These are discussed here.
Past Posting a Bet – This is also referred to as late betting and is a form of cheating where the player places a bet after it has been announced that no more bets can be placed. This type of betting when playing Roulette would be when a player places their bet after the ball lands in a spot in the wheel. With table games, post betting will require the distraction of the dealer, so this form of cheating is often done in pairs or teams of players.
Capping a Bet – Capping a bet is a common form of cheating and like Late Betting, will require the distraction of the croupier. This form of cheating is done after the result of the game is announced. The cheating player will then add more chips to their winning bet, increasing the payout.
Use of Counterfeit Chips – Desperate players will often try to counterfeit casino chips and then use them on games or even in tournaments. This is seldom successful since the casino chips are much more than coloured plastic. Many newer chips have microchips embedded and serial numbers printed. The chips will also have the casino logo. Creating counterfeit chips that feel and weight the same as real chips is nearly impossible, let alone the mentioned security measures of microchips and the such.
Use of a Cheating Device – Over the years, various cheating devices have been created and used in casinos. While these may indeed work, they are illegal and will result in some serious charges if detected. Some devices include loaded dice at Craps tables, which are dice that are used in replacement of the original dice. There is also the card holdout device, one that is worn on the arm under a long sleeve. The device will provide the player with alternative cards to win at table games like blackjack. There are also some card counting devices that can be used, such as an app for a phone that will keep track of high and low cards.
Card Counting – Card counting is a skill that many serious gamblers will master. It is the methods of keeping track of high and low cards that are used on a game and with the right count, players can know when to increase bets or decrease them. There are many forms of card counting, from a simple method to the most complex used by professional players. Card counting is not an illegal activity, but it is one that may get players banned from a casino.
Casino Cheating is a Felony Offense
Cheating is not just a simple slap on the wrist and being told to leave. There are serious charges that can be brought about and cheating is a felony. Most of the methods mentioned are a category B felony. The first offense will be a sentence of 1 to 6 years with a $10,000 fine. The second offense has the same sentence but no probation is granted. Under the laws in Nevada, any second conviction of cheating will require the serving of at least one year in prison before becoming eligible for parole. The complete details on Nevada’s cheating laws can be found by clicking here.
Cheating may seem appealing, but it will eventually lead to charges. The Vegas Metro Police has a Financial Crimes Section, responsible for preventing financial crimes such as cheating. The Section also investigates crimes and will assist with any prosecution.
According to James Taylor, deputy chief of Special Investigations and Support Services for the Nevada State Gaming Control Board, approximately 500 people that get arrested for cheating every year in Nevada, and a third of those arrested are casino employees.
Is Cheating the Casinos Worth the Gamble?
Is it worth it? Some players will still take the risk and try to cheat at Vegas casinos. While they may be successful at first, rest assured, the eyes in the sky are watching and these players will soon become well acquainted with Las Vegas Metro Police and the Financial Crimes Section. A gain of money at the tables will not cover the sentencing and fines that will be faced, so think twice of you are one of these players that are considering cheating a Las Vegas casino out of money.