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Surprising conversation with casino surveillance

Discussion in 'Casino Gaming' started by shacktown, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. shacktown

    shacktown Tourist

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    I interviewed a former casino surveillance employee at a large Tribal casino for our blog. These were a few of the most surprising / interesting things I learned during our conversation:

    • The surveillance team made highlight tapes of funny things caught on camera like people picking their noses while withdrawing money from the ATM.
    • Contrary to what I expected to hear, in surveillance they weren’t taught how to count cards.
    • A common crime that they would investigate was a person stealing someone’s TITO slip from a machine.
    • Apparently a player can hold a casino liable if an employee says you won a big jackpot when, in fact, you didn’t.
    • The background check for surveillance really isn't any different than any other position in the casino.
    • Don’t plan on a very diverse casino career if you start in surveillance.
    Here's a link to the full interview.
     
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  2. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the link, I always find casino security to be interesting.

    I was friends with the casino manager at Luxor many years ago. He always had some interesting stories. There's a lot of player/player theft. Back then it was all coins for the machines and everyone had their big buckets full of them and would go machine to machine or even casino to casino. A team of 2 would wander into the higher limit machine area (dollars back then) and scope out someone (elderly or someone who appeared kind of drunk) who had a full bucket of dollars. One person would cause a distraction on one side of the player (usually by "accidentally" dropping a few coins on the floor. As soon as the player looked over the second guy would swipe the bucket and be off.

    Craps tables were (and maybe still are) a constant source of theft. When a player reaches over to make a bet it can be easy for the player next to him to quickly reach in and snatch a chip or two. i always have my arm across my chips as I reach out to place a bet with the other arm.

    Video is so much better now than it used to be. So while cheating can still go on, catching someone is easier too. Anytime there is any kind of distraction, someone spills a drink or 2 guys get into an "argument" of some kind or whatever, the security team is watching for some sort of scam taking place in the area. Just as in magic distraction is the best way to commit theft in a casino.

    The all time best casino cheat was Richard Marcus (and his crew). Read his book American Roulette, it's very interesting.
     
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  3. VegasSchemer

    VegasSchemer Low-Roller

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    I was somewhat skeptical of the quality of the video surveillance until they reverse an error in my favor. I was playing at the Downtown Grand for a while and then finished my stint by using a matchplay. As my friend and I were discussing how we had fared during the session, we both realized we hadn't been paid on the matchplay wins. Though we expected it to be fruitless, we went to the pit boss and explained what we thought had occurred. He called security and they watched what happened and confirmed we had both been stiffed $25. We were pretty happy and certainly surprised they didn't just say, "you have to ensure all pays are correct at the time they are made."
     
  4. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    I will take dealing at the Craps or Black Jack table over being in surveillance any day.
     
  5. shacktown

    shacktown Tourist

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    Completely agree with you. Playing with the cameras would be fun for a day or so, then I think it would get old real fast
     
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  6. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    This was a nice read, thanks.

    The one time they went to the cameras for me, it went my way. I was playing sic bo back when Mirage had it, and some drunk looking guys thought they bet my bet. The poor dealer had a full table and definitely didn't know whose bet was whose. Took about 10 minutes, but I received the winnings.

    The other time I seen it involved at the table, I was playing poker. The poker room gets a call from surveillance. The floor manager comes over and says to the dealer, "You owe seat ten $1 because you incorrectly took a bad beat drop when the pot was less than $20." The entire table was in shock (no one noticed the mistake), and the dealer was pretty nervous for the next few hands. Lol
     
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  7. Kolmeseiska

    Kolmeseiska Low-Roller

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    Had they noticed that you were overpaid, wonder what would have happened if you told them "you have ensure that all pays are correct at the time they are made"?
     
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  8. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    This was very interesting. Thanks for posting.
     
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  9. VegasSchemer

    VegasSchemer Low-Roller

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    lol That would've been quick and ballsy. I actually have been overpaid twice on matchplays. When a blackjack shows up and you're using a matchplay, there's a decent chance the dealer is really thrown off.
     
  10. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    i've seen that happen at Foxwoods.... suit came over and told the dealer she paid on a push. the woman that got paid denied it
    they rolled back the cards and she said those weren't cards. the suit said she can view the tape if she wished' she still said those wren't her cards
    i told him what my cards were correct. she evetually paid back to error
     
  11. Kolmeseiska

    Kolmeseiska Low-Roller

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    Exactly, funny how it works nicely the other way around. Personally I think errors should be corrected every time when spotted regardless of the beneficiary.
     
  12. Ckspores

    Ckspores Tourist

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    I'm probably on some of those gag reels. I like to do stuff like pretend to pick my nose or scratch my butt when I'm hanging around in a casino.

    Just pretend, but it gives me a giggle. Sometimes I wave or make funny faces if I can see the camera.

    It makes me sad that there are people who actually do that stuff thinking no one is watching.
     
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  13. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    I do too.

    Interesting interview. Thanks shack!
     
  14. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    It depends on the casino/jurisdiction obviously, but the poker story I gave did benefit the player for $1 without anyone at the table calling for a review. That surveillance guy must have been bored. In his defense, it was a Monday afternoon! Casinos win because of the math, sure they could win more if they cheat, but if they get caught, is it worth the fines/suspensions? On Monday night at Ameristar Kansas City, I got carded twice at 36. Once for entering the casino and once for ordering a beer for $3.50. :( I joked I that I got carded at the door too. And the bartender says, "Yeah, if we get caught serving to minors, the minimum fine is $15,000." At least in Missouri, the Gaming Commission doesn't fuck around.
     
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  15. wormhole

    wormhole Low-Roller

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    I got carded regularly well into my 30s. People were always guessing I was around 17 or 18. Then the grey hairs started showing up :( . I was a bit thinner back then, too :) . I did not go to casinos back then, but i am sure they would have carded me, too.
     
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  16. shacktown

    shacktown Tourist

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    My pleasure! I enjoy doing those. Not sure if you saw it, but I got a chance to interview Sonya (founder of VMB) a few months back. What a fantastic person!

    Any other aspects of the casino you or anyone else are curious about? I'll track someone down to interview :)
     
  17. Kolmeseiska

    Kolmeseiska Low-Roller

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    Everything is appreciated mate! I'd love to hear more from the cocktail waitresses.
     
  18. shacktown

    shacktown Tourist

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    I married one that should be easy! lol
    Anything in particular you'd like to know? I can do a panel with her and some of her ex-colleagues.
     
  19. VegasSchemer

    VegasSchemer Low-Roller

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    What they consider being treated well, craziest things they've seen at casinos, do they have rule (are they followed)/personal objections on continuing to serve those who are inebriated.
     
  20. shacktown

    shacktown Tourist

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    Good questions! I'll add those to the list..