Casino Security Tips

by Frank Scoblete

This lesson includes 10 tips about casino security to protect you and your money.

1. Casino Security: Protecting Your Money

Men should never keep their wallets in their back pockets. Get a shirt with a pocket in front that buttons and keep your money in there. Some savvy craps players even keep a “dummy” wallet in their back pockets.
Women should never put your purse on the floor, or on the drink shelf that surrounds the craps table at thigh level, or between slot machines. Doing so is an invitation to long-armed thieves.
Keep your purse wrapped securely around your shoulder, on your lap covered by your arm, or keep it in your hands.
The bottom line is to make the thief realize that it is going to take quite an effort to dislodge you from your purse. Both sexes can protect their money by using a secure fanny pack or waist pack.

2. Casino Security: At the Tables
Arrange your chips in the rack in front of you at the craps table putting your highest denomination chips in the center, your lowest on the ends, and everything else in between.  Ask for $10 worth of one dollar chips and put five on one end and five on the other end.
Railbirds, as they are known, try to steal chips from unsuspecting craps players usually while the player is shooting will take the chips that are on the outside.
It is very difficult to remove chips in the center of the chip rack as these are tightly bunched together and right in front of you.
Chances are railbirds won’t be interested in your dollar chips and will move on.
Be aware of your craps action as some brazen thieves like to snatch winning bets from neighboring players. This can easily occur as many dealers place the winning bets on the felt in the proximity of the winning player, not directly in front of him/her.
A crook can just reach down, grab the win, and pretend it is his.
If you aren’t aware that you have just won a bet, the thief can actually get away with this ploy.
If you make a small scene, the thief will just pretend he got confused. By the way, often in this situation the adjoining player did become don’t assume when this happens it really is a calculated attempt to steal, but also don’t let him get away with it!
Blackjack players should put small-denomination chips on top of large-denomination chips. This  prevents “palmers” from getting to the big money when they distract you.

3. Casino Security: Credit Check
Most casinos are happy to extend you a credit line, which is really  an interest-free loan of money to play the casino’s games and you will have anywhere from one week to 45 days to repay it.
Getting credit is easy: ask for an application, fill out the application, and return. You’ll be informed within a week or two of how much the casino will give you in credit and any other terms you need to know.
However, if you don’t want to carry cash and you don’t want to establish credit but you do want to play for substantial sums of money, then bring travelers checks to the casino. Cash as many as you have to in order to play your first session.
Travelers checks are better than cash for  if they are lost or stolen, you can get your money back.

4. Casino Security: Box It
If you are bringing cash to a casino, never leave it in your room.
Get a safe-deposit box when you check in and leave the bulk of your gambling stake in there. Take out only what you intend to use for the first session of play and for incidental items.
Also, if you have a big night at the tables and staying at the casino, ask to have a security guard take you to your safe-deposit box or escort you to your room. That is one of their jobs and most casinos will even recommend an escort.
If you have won loads of cash and are headed for your car (at valet!), have security escort you to the valet parking area. You should offer to tip for these services.

5. Casino Security: Hand to Money
If someone bumps you, jostles you, or even rubs gently against you, immediately grab the pocket where your wallet is, or grab your purse. Then look to see what’s going on. The quick reflex must always be hand to money!
Spill Grab. If someone spills a drink at your table, don’t just jump up to avoid the splash -- grab your chips too! A common ploy  is to “accidentally” spill a drink, then in a frenzy to prevent it from getting all over the table; the thief knocks over everyone’s chips, palming some in the process. If a drink spills, grab first, jump up second.

6. Casino Security: Beware the Watchers
Don’t let strangers watch the game from over your shoulder.
For example, craps is a game that normally attracts onlookers. But if someone is getting too close to you, just ask the floor person to tell the individual to move back. Usually thieves don’t like to have any attention paid to them and they will quickly move on.
Secondly, never be afraid to look someone in the eyes. Thieves love the fact that most of us are shy about really eyeballing other people. If you think someone is eyeing you, or following you, or getting too close to you--turn and look him dead in the face.
Most criminals don’t want to be seen and will quickly scurry into the woodwork when you eyeball them.
Additionally, be vigilant in bathrooms where no casino cameras can survey the area. Attendants are present in the better hotels but they are there to see that the bathroom stays clean, not to prevent patrons from being cleaned out by criminals.
Don’t assume some long-armed thief won’t reach over and grab your money when you are in no position to stop them.

7. Casino Security: Don’t Get Taken for a Ride
Never get into an elevator with someone who makes you think, “Should I get into the elevator with this person?” If you feel the least bit uncomfortable, if a single hackle goes up, don’t get in! Trust in your feelings when it comes to danger.
The worst that can happen if you are mistaken is some guy’s feelings are hurt and you get to your room a few minutes later.
When you are in the elevator, try to be up against the back wall, or against the side wall. You want to be able to see everyone clearly.

8. Casino Security: Valet is the Way
Always use valet parking, even if you have to pay for it. This was dramatically brought home to me when I saw video of a man who was assaulted in a hotel garage, a well-lit, relatively secure facility. It’s much better not to be mugged than to have your mugger caught!

9. Casino Security: Yell “Fire!” in a Crowded Building
If you are already on your floor and walking down the hall and someone accosts you, do not yell for help. Instead, yell “FIRE!” at the top of your lungs. Very few people will physically put themselves on the firing line for someone who is being mugged, but almost everyone will run out of their rooms if they think a fire is occurring. Just keep yelling “Fire! Fire! Fire!”
Knock on Any Door. If you are walking down your hotel hallway and you are suspicious of the individual trailing you, stop, and knock on the door of whatever room you stopped in front of. Then knock on the door next to it. And on the one next to it. Some are bound to have people answer. It’s a rare mugger who will wait around to see which room you really have.

10. Casino Security: Talk Before You Walk
Don’t assume that because the casino-hotel looks safe and non-threatening, the neighborhood it’s in is equally safe. Ask someone at the front desk about the surrounding area. Are there any places we shouldn’t walk?
In Atlantic City, for example, you are better off walking on the boardwalk then through the neighborhoods.
In Vegas, your downtown walks should be confined to circuits of the Fremont Street Experience as the surrounding area will have more hoods than neighbors. So if you like to walk, make it a point to talk to casino personnel who can tell you where to go and not to go.

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