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  #1  
Old 09-17-2009, 11:56 PM
glowacks glowacks is offline
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Counterfeit Casino Chips

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...t-casino-chips

While I agree with this article on the difficulty of manufacturing counterfeit casino checks, I would think that it would be incredibly easy to cash in $100 checks a few at a time at a busy casino.

I cashed out probably over $2000 once and the teller just had to have someone else verify the right amount was being given. I don't think either of them had any idea where I got the checks from; I suppose it's possible that when the pit sees someone pick up a huge amount of money in checks from a table (and they generally will supervise when a player "colors up") they let the supervisor in the cashier's cage know about it. I've never actually heard about such a thing happening, although I suppose for high enough amounts it would. The "trick" is to get in under that amount.

I've cashed out $200 all the time without the cashier even looking up. I've also brought $200 or more in checks to a table from another tables and had them exchanged without anyone apparently caring. I admit that the supervisor is generally hollered at when they send out chips, but they do that constantly. Sure, if you do it long enough people might catch on, but without a player's club card you'd be difficult to track and your action would probably get lost in the crowd.

All that said, it's possible that casinos have much more security than they let on. It just seems as though if you could make checks that were flawless matches, it wouldn't be hard to get cash for them as long as you did it a little at a time and put a little action in as well.
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  #2  
Old 09-18-2009, 12:20 AM
Oakminster Oakminster is online now
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Originally Posted by glowacks View Post
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...t-casino-chips


All that said, it's possible that casinos have much more security than they let on.
They do.
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  #3  
Old 09-18-2009, 06:12 AM
msean msean is offline
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Do It The Smart Way

Sell your counterfeit chips to those on the other side of the IQ spectrum.

Why go through the risk of cashing them in at a casino? Sell your $100 chips for $25 to someone with enough of a risk taking personality to do something as stupid as trying to scam a casino.
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  #4  
Old 09-18-2009, 07:04 AM
Wheelz Wheelz is offline
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Yeah, not that I'm about to go off and try to scam a casino, but this part doesn't really ring true:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guest contributor Ianzin
If you sit down and play a few games first, whether cards or roulette or anything else, there comes a point when you'll have to add your fake chips to whatever stash has come your way legitimately. <snip> How are you going to get the fake chips on the table?
I don't see a big problem with that. Just last month in Atlantic City, I played blackjack with a bunch of chips I'd previously gotten at a craps table, and then brought my stash back for more craps later. Nobody batted an eye at me for moving the chips around.
Or, you never have to put them on the table at all. Say I have a few bogus chips in my pocket. I just gather up some legit chips by playing here and there, and eventually make my way to the cashier to exchange my fake chips mixed in with the real ones. The counterfeits don't see the light of day until I'm at the window.

Having said that, I do of course realize it would be illegal and incredibly stupid to try it. And I'm guessing that no matter how good a replica you think you've made, casino employees must be highly trained to spot the fakes and you wouldn't get away with it anyway.
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  #5  
Old 09-18-2009, 08:03 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Just as an aside, a thanks to our own ianzine for a great staff report!
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  #6  
Old 09-18-2009, 09:28 AM
LawMonkey LawMonkey is online now
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Very interesting article. I'm a bit confused by the line at the end: "In most states, it's a federal offense to attempt any form of cheating in a casino." While I guess there's enough of a jurisdictional hook in the casino's relationship to interstate commerce to support a federal crime, how would it be one in some states but not in others? Unless it's the Indian thing--I'm finding a FBI press release that mentions "conspiracy to steal money and other property from Indian tribal casinos."
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  #7  
Old 09-18-2009, 05:37 PM
toxicmegacolon toxicmegacolon is offline
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I remember a stat saying in a casino, somebody is watching you on camera at least every 20-30 seconds.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:15 PM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
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There was a program on this not long ago. A retired tool maker went through a lot of trouble making chips that were perfect. He was successful. He made a lot of them and played slots. They were so good that the casinos said they had no idea how many perfect counterfeits are in the casinos.
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  #9  
Old 09-18-2009, 09:45 PM
Mr. Miskatonic Mr. Miskatonic is offline
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Originally Posted by gonzomax View Post
There was a program on this not long ago. A retired tool maker went through a lot of trouble making chips that were perfect. He was successful. He made a lot of them and played slots. They were so good that the casinos said they had no idea how many perfect counterfeits are in the casinos.
Yup. I saw it too. It was when casinos used special coins instead of print-out tabs. The casino started noticing a problem when the coin counts kept coming out too high. They ended up catching the guy because he tried one of his counterfeit coins and it didn't work...they caught him on video walking away from the machine and not complaining about the $10 coin the machine just stole.
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  #10  
Old 09-18-2009, 10:45 PM
Alex_Dubinsky Alex_Dubinsky is offline
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So who exactly is this Ianzin and what is his connection to the mob... I mean casinos?
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  #11  
Old 09-19-2009, 07:35 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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We'll check on the federal/state thing. I'll let Ianzin describe himself, but he's a professional magician of high repute... and he's a Brit, which may be why the federal/state comment slipped the fact-checking.
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  #12  
Old 09-19-2009, 08:56 AM
lobotomyboy63 lobotomyboy63 is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Miskatonic View Post
Yup. I saw it too. It was when casinos used special coins instead of print-out tabs. The casino started noticing a problem when the coin counts kept coming out too high. They ended up catching the guy because he tried one of his counterfeit coins and it didn't work...they caught him on video walking away from the machine and not complaining about the $10 coin the machine just stole.
I saw one too, could be the same. IIRC he had to buy the special alloy from overseas (UK?) because the slot machines checked electromagnetic properties with each coin deposited. When they caught him, the casino guy said basically, "Well the coin is the right weight, right electromagnetic signature, looks authentic, but something's wrong." Like he couldn't put his finger on what but from handling them a human in the business could detect what sophisticated machines couldn't.

It seemed like an awful lot of work. If you're just trying to cash in $100, it would take forever to make that first million. Going to the same casino over and over, you're bound to attract attention, become a really familiar face, and so on. Working in your favor would be that a few hundred bucks is small potatoes to them but repeatedly returning to the scene of the crime is just asking for trouble.
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  #13  
Old 09-19-2009, 10:55 AM
Alex_Dubinsky Alex_Dubinsky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobotomyboy63 View Post
It seemed like an awful lot of work. If you're just trying to cash in $100, it would take forever to make that first million. Going to the same casino over and over, you're bound to attract attention, become a really familiar face, and so on. Working in your favor would be that a few hundred bucks is small potatoes to them but repeatedly returning to the scene of the crime is just asking for trouble.
This.

I bet Ianzin is mostly wrong, but pulling this stunt a hundred or a thousand times just stops making sense. Anything less, and it's not worth it. So it doesn't get done. Casinos aren't magical bastions of omniscience.
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  #14  
Old 09-19-2009, 08:49 PM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is online now
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Originally Posted by Alex_Dubinsky View Post
So who exactly is this Ianzin and what is his connection to the mob... I mean casinos?

Meet Ian Rowland, magician, aka Ianzin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PdGw49ek9w



There's quite a few videos of him performing on youtube

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ian+rowland
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  #15  
Old 09-22-2009, 08:03 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Originally Posted by C K Dexter Haven View Post
We'll check on the federal/state thing. I'll let Ianzin describe himself, but he's a professional magician of high repute... and he's a Brit, which may be why the federal/state comment slipped the fact-checking.
I assume he meant "felony" and not "federal." Interesting article, though.
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  #16  
Old 09-22-2009, 09:43 AM
HeyHomie HeyHomie is offline
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I would imagine that people who live and/or work in Vegas/Reno/AC come into contact with chips all the time in their daily lives, apart from the casino. Say you're a waiter at a restaurant (not at a casino) and a customer tips you with a chip. Surely you can just walk into a casino and exchange it for cash, independently of having to play games?

Time For an Old Joke

The Catholic churches in Las Vegas have a tendency to wind up with a lot of casino chips in their collection baskets. Since it would be tedious and time-consuming for the parish priests to take the various chips to the various casinos all over town to get the cash, the churches in Vegas outsource this job to a low-ranking brother in a local monastery. This guy has the job of sorting the chips by church, then by casino, then going to the casinos and getting cash, then taking the cash to the appropriate churches.

The guy's job title: The Chip-monk.

Thank you, I'll be here all week. Try the veal, it's delicious.
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  #17  
Old 09-22-2009, 09:54 AM
SiXSwordS SiXSwordS is offline
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Originally Posted by Peter Morris View Post
Meet Ian Rowland, magician, aka Ianzin.
A talented writer and a dapper magician.

I don't have much experience with casino gambling so I have a simple question. Is it frowned on for someone to leave a casino with chips? I understand that going into a casino everyday and cashing in is going to raise eyebrows, but, in general, are gamblers expected to cash out before they leave?
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  #18  
Old 09-22-2009, 01:23 PM
incaroads1975 incaroads1975 is offline
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In most states it is a federal offense

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...t-casino-chips

"In most states it is a federal offense to attempt any form of cheating in a casino, and the penalties can be severe.".

This statement is intriguing and a bit suspicious...

Is it even possible that there could be a state in which it is NOT a federal offense to attempt any form of cheating in a casino? I understand some states may have laws against gambling and therefore there are no casinos. But in those states wouldn't it still be a federal offense to attempt to cheat if there were any casinos?

Doesn't federal law apply to all areas of the united states including all states? And doesn't federal law supersede state law in specific situations as granted by the constitution? As we have seen the federal law is being enforced in places where state law conflicts with federal law such as with the medicinal marijuana laws in California.
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  #19  
Old 09-22-2009, 01:27 PM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Here's a related question: are we sure this is fraud? As I understand it, gambling debts are not legally enforceable. That is, the government does not consider them valid. If private people choose to honor them, so be it. But you can run up gambling debts in Vegas, and they will send you officious-looking letters on the stationary of high-priced lawyers, but the debt is not valid and they can't compel payment. They won't want to pay out to you or offer you any credit until you do, of course.

This makes something of an od question as to whether its considered fraud to make fake chips. I don't know if there's any contractual relationship which requires people to use only casino chips in their machines and table games. This aspect fot he law is well beyond my extremely limited expertise (which ain't very expert anyhow).
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  #20  
Old 09-22-2009, 01:32 PM
tofergregg tofergregg is offline
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Originally Posted by SiXSwordS View Post
A talented writer and a dapper magician.

I don't have much experience with casino gambling so I have a simple question. Is it frowned on for someone to leave a casino with chips? I understand that going into a casino everyday and cashing in is going to raise eyebrows, but, in general, are gamblers expected to cash out before they leave?
WAG (and the joke about Vegas churches is true to a point: they will gladly accept chips and cash them in, albeit probably not with a chip-monk)--I would guess that casinos are glad to have you leave with their chips, as they've already got your cash for them, and the cash is worth more than the chips. I think they might not be amused if you walked in, got $50,000 worth of $5 chips and then carted them out in a wheelbarrow, but they're not going to care about a few chips here and there.
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  #21  
Old 09-22-2009, 01:33 PM
Gfactor Gfactor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by incaroads1975 View Post
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...t-casino-chips

"In most states it is a federal offense to attempt any form of cheating in a casino, and the penalties can be severe.".
I merged this thread into an existing discussion of the staff report in question. And we've got a fix coming for the "federal offense" line.
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  #22  
Old 09-22-2009, 01:44 PM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Yeah, fix should be made shortly. It's basically written by a Brit who didn't catch the complexities of overlapping law systems, and not caught by the American proof-reader. The term "federal offense" was used in the generic sense and we'll amend it.
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  #23  
Old 09-22-2009, 01:53 PM
glowacks glowacks is offline
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While casinos would probably like you to leave with your chips, it is a very bad idea. I'm unsure if I've seen signs in Detroit casinos or something like that, but casinos in Detroit (and probably most places) are required to have a second set of differently colored chips in case of a large theft of chips. If you legally walked chips off the premises and then tried to redeem them after they had to switch chips, you'd potentially be a a bit of trouble. Of course, it's highly unlikely for a theft to actually occur, but the point remains.

Additionally, a few years back a Detroit casino ran extremely low on 25 cent chips because (so it was said) people wouldn't bother cashing them in when they were down to just a few paltry chips, not give them to the dealers as tips (like at least I would and have done in the past), and not return with them. Since 25 cent chips are used in so few games and players only would have up to 3 at a time, there weren't many in the casino in total; those games they were used in (Baccarat and Pai-Gow Poker from memory) had to often cut down the commission they took out of winnings so as to not overcharge people compared to when they had the 25 cent chips available.

edit: what I said in the OP applies only to Detroit casinos as well.

Last edited by glowacks; 09-22-2009 at 01:57 PM..
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  #24  
Old 09-22-2009, 02:02 PM
hajario hajario is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
Here's a related question: are we sure this is fraud? As I understand it, gambling debts are not legally enforceable.
Illegal gambling debts, like any other illegal contract, are not legally enforceable. Gambling is legal in Las Vegas so those debts most certainly are enforceable.
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  #25  
Old 09-22-2009, 04:11 PM
John W. Kennedy John W. Kennedy is offline
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I cannot swear to the present-day state of affairs in Nevada, but it is an old principle of Common Law that gambling debts cannot be recovered at law. But counterfeiting chips and cashing them in is plain ol' fraud -- gambling isn't involved.
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  #26  
Old 09-22-2009, 04:15 PM
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
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The Mob: I read a history of gambling in Nevada some years ago and the author asserted that the smartest thing the Nevada Gaming Commission had ever done was allow corporations to get gaming licenses. Licensees have to have a background check and up until 1978 (?) for a corporation, every single shareholder had to be vetted before the license would be granted. This was not practical for a large corporation so as a consequence most of your casino owners were eccentric individuals like Bill Harrah or Howard Hughes, of shady individuals like Bugsy Siegal or Meyer Lansky. after that date the Commission decided that publically traded corporations were examined pretty closely by other regulatory agencies, so only those stockholders holding 5% or more would need to be vetted. That, plus action on the Federal level pretty pushed organized crime out the Nevada gambling scene.

Slot machine tokens: Each club has its own alloy (Mostly copper and nickel) and in theory the machines can be adjusted to accept that only that club's tokens and reject others. In practice it's far too easy to set the machine too tight and get a lot of false rejections. Both the clubs I worked at had loosened things up so pretty much anybody's tokens were accepted. We would get them by the bucket-load from the club across the road, far fewer from Reno and an occasional one from Las Vegas and points south. Every few months when enough of the Reno tokens had accumulated, smebody would travel up there to cash them in. I never heard of a counterfeit token showing up, but we did get one from the Stardust casino in Las Vegas -- six years after it had closed. We didn't have any $5 ot $10 tokens; I imagine things would be tighter on those.

Taking checks from the club: If I was expecting to come back soon, I'd walk out of a club with a pocketful of checks all the time if there was a line at the cage and I didn't want to wait. I'd also keep the occasional souvenir $1 check if it looked interesting. I don't know how much the checks cost the club, but it it's less than a buck the club would be happy: free money. If it's say, two or three dollars a check, the club might get fussy if you walk out with dozens of the things.
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:34 PM
AmbushBug AmbushBug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Miskatonic View Post
Yup. I saw it too. It was when casinos used special coins instead of print-out tabs. The casino started noticing a problem when the coin counts kept coming out too high. They ended up catching the guy because he tried one of his counterfeit coins and it didn't work...they caught him on video walking away from the machine and not complaining about the $10 coin the machine just stole.
Ditto. IIRC, it was three $25 slot tokens, so it was $75 he walked away from.

Pursuant to the crime, I also recall that the NJ authorities found out who he was, tailed him to his Rhode Island residence and went to a Rhode Island judge to get a search warrant for the equipment, set up an arrest - - only to be told that (at the time) it wasn't a crime in Rhode Island to make counterfeit casino tokens. So the authorities had to catch the perpetrator in the act. Or at least in their own state holding some evidence
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  #28  
Old 09-22-2009, 08:22 PM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Originally Posted by hajario View Post
Illegal gambling debts, like any other illegal contract, are not legally enforceable. Gambling is legal in Las Vegas so those debts most certainly are enforceable.
I would likea cite on this. I'm not saying I don't believe you, but I have a book by a man who lives in Vegas making his money by gambling and he says otherwise. In fact, he says it happens all the time, just not enough to hurt profits. The book might be out of date ior plain wrong, but I'd like a cite on it.
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  #29  
Old 09-22-2009, 09:34 PM
LurkMeister LurkMeister is offline
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Taking checks from the club: If I was expecting to come back soon, I'd walk out of a club with a pocketful of checks all the time if there was a line at the cage and I didn't want to wait. I'd also keep the occasional souvenir $1 check if it looked interesting. I don't know how much the checks cost the club, but it it's less than a buck the club would be happy: free money. If it's say, two or three dollars a check, the club might get fussy if you walk out with dozens of the things.
My first trip to Vegas I kept a chip (I can't remember of it was a $1 or $5) as a good luck charm, and as sort of a "now I have to go back to Vegas to spend this" thing. For a number of years I had a tradition of always making my first bet with the chip I'd brought home from the last trip, and keeping a chip from my last bet for my next trip. Later I stopped doing this because I wasn't always staying at the same casino any more.
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:33 AM
dba Fred dba Fred is offline
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Quote: Originally Posted by hajario
Illegal gambling debts, like any other illegal contract, are not legally enforceable. Gambling is legal in Las Vegas so those debts most certainly are enforceable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
I would likea cite on this. I'm not saying I don't believe you, but I have a book by a man who lives in Vegas making his money by gambling and he says otherwise. In fact, he says it happens all the time, just not enough to hurt profits. The book might be out of date ior plain wrong, but I'd like a cite on it.
I'm not a casino so let's see if I can not make a fool of myself (and hope somebody more knowledgeable than I will explain it better).

A casino doesn't accept a wager based on a promise to pay, the patron must offer cash or a cash equivalent before the game begins: cash, tokens, checks/chips. A casino might advance a patron checks/chips in the form of a marker but it is written up as a postdated check/loan/IOU and the patron's creditworthiness is investigated before the casino presents the marker.

If the patron is a winner at the end of their gambling session, they pay off/settle the marker (doesn't include interest as I understand it); if the patron is loser at the end of their gaming session, they are obligated to pay off/settle the marker under the terms they agreed to when they obtained the marker.

It makes sense that a casino will advance a creditworthy patron funds to gamble because it keeps the patron in that casino and the odds favor the casino in the long run; so the more times a patron puts money in play, the greater the odds are that the casino will come out ahead.

Because it is not a gambling debt, the marker/loan/IOU from the casino is as enforceable as one from a bank
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:42 AM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Originally Posted by dba Fred View Post
Because it is not a gambling debt, the marker/loan/IOU from the casino is as enforceable as one from a bank
Well, that's where my source differs - he claimed that (at least as late at mid-90's), offering markers was very common for even everyday guests, and that this practice was not legally enforceable. In fact, he says it's not enforceable on the casino, either. But, the Nevada Gaming Commission (he wasn't as familiar with Atlantic City or non-NV casinos, so it wasn't sure for there) would pull the license of a casino which refused the pay. But they never would have to pay if they didn't want to.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:45 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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A couple of data points: As of the late 90s, California courts were somewhat split as to whether a Nevada casino could sue a gambler in California over gambling debts, but the trend was against enforcement. It was definitely the case, though, that the casino could sue the debtor in Nevada, get a judgment, and have that judgment enforced in any state.

In 2003, a bankruptcy appellate panel for the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appeals court that covers most western states, ruled that a Nevada casino could bring claims for gambling debts in a California debtor's bankruptcy, even though California law disfavored enforcement of gambling debts, because Nevada law governed that transaction.

This past summer, the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appeals court that covers Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana, similarly ruled that a Nevada casino could bring claims for gambling debts in a Wisconsin debtor's bankruptcy, even though Wisconsin law forbids gambling, because Nevada law governed that transaction.
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  #33  
Old 09-23-2009, 10:36 AM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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A quick search for counterfeit casino tokens will find you several news stories about people being arrested. One story mentions up to $35000 and methods of converting chips to higher denominations using glue and glitter (!!??).

I recall hearing the story too, about the guys from Connecticut who made tokens for Atlantic City casinos not long after they opened. They were so good one casino didn't catch on until they realized there were too many chips in the system. They tracked it down with video surveillance, but apparently there was no law against counterfeiting NJ casino tokens in Conneticut at the time.

The guys eevntually got greedy and tried to make one last payday. They were caught in the casino parking garage in NJ with a trunk full of fake tokens. It is against the law in NJ.

As a side note - there was also the case of the guys in Buffalo making fake transit tokens for the Toronto Transit Commission. Again, pretty good; it took a while for them to catch on. At $2+ a ride, you can see it's quick money and a lot easier to unload tokens to 4 million people than to one casino. Again, the authorities figured out who it was - I forget if they got charged in NY, but the Canadians arrested anyone they could get their hands on. Plus - it cost big bucks to switch the fares to a different more secure system.
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  #34  
Old 09-23-2009, 01:14 PM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
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Casinos do not win them all. They lost a case in Windsor, Ontario against a card counter. They wanted damages and penalties. But the judge ,when he found out counters lose as well as win, threw it out. He said they were trying to get rid of people who play well. But they can still get rid of them by refusing them service. No punishment, but they can ban them from playing.
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  #35  
Old 09-23-2009, 02:13 PM
villa villa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
I would likea cite on this. I'm not saying I don't believe you, but I have a book by a man who lives in Vegas making his money by gambling and he says otherwise. In fact, he says it happens all the time, just not enough to hurt profits. The book might be out of date ior plain wrong, but I'd like a cite on it.
Are you sure the guy is writing about Vegas? Gambling debts in the UK have a special status - gambling is legal but the debt is was traditionally not legally enforceable. Ladbrokes makes you pay up front; you have to rely on their good business sense that they will not refuse to pay out. And they don't, generally.

I believe this might have changed in 2007.

See the following
Quote:
Gambling Debts Now Enforceable in U.K.
Britain’s Gambling Act of 2005 -- which comes into effect this year -- has garnered a lot of attention. But one aspect of the new law hasn’t gotten much play, according to Carl Rohsler of London’s Hammonds. It’s the sentence in the act that says, "the fact that a contract relates to gambling shall not affect its enforcement."

That sweeping statement, says Rohsler, "wipes out over 200 years of precedent . . . not only in the UK but also in most common law jurisdictions around the world, that gambling contracts are debts of honour only." Gambling houses that once had to demand that gamblers cough up the cash in advance (because they could not collect the debts in court) can now lend money to gamblers and collect their debts in the usual way. Rohsler’s comments on this development are here. A more general introduction to the Act, by Paul Renney of London’s Campbell Hooper, is here. (Free registration required for each.)

[Frank Snyder]

Last edited by villa; 09-23-2009 at 02:15 PM..
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:17 PM
John W. Kennedy John W. Kennedy is offline
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As it says in your own quote, the rule that gambling debts were not enforceable long applied to most common-law jurisdictions, which includes the US at the Federal level and all the states except Louisiana. But that doesn't mean that it couldn't have changed, especially, God knows, in Nevada. (And I have no idea what the rule is in Louisiana, either.)

This legal rule is the reason that "debt of honor" was a long-standing euphemism for "gambling debt".
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:37 PM
Blue Mars Blue Mars is offline
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This article sounded like it was written by a casino PR rep.
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Old 09-23-2009, 10:38 PM
villa villa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John W. Kennedy View Post
As it says in your own quote, the rule that gambling debts were not enforceable long applied to most common-law jurisdictions, which includes the US at the Federal level and all the states except Louisiana. But that doesn't mean that it couldn't have changed, especially, God knows, in Nevada. (And I have no idea what the rule is in Louisiana, either.)

This legal rule is the reason that "debt of honor" was a long-standing euphemism for "gambling debt".
Indeed. For some reason I was under the impression the law had already been changed away from the common law in the US. Hence the ability to place bets on credit over here. I hadn't considered the possibility that a marker at a casino would not be considered a gambling debt, rather than just a regular loan.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:27 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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Originally Posted by John W. Kennedy View Post
As it says in your own quote, the rule that gambling debts were not enforceable long applied to most common-law jurisdictions, which includes the US at the Federal level and all the states except Louisiana.
I thought that there was no federal common law? If so, the rule wouldn't apply at the federal level unless it was actually set out in a federal statute?

Which wouldn't prevent a federal court from applying the case in a diversity case, where the federal courts apply the relevant state law.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:05 AM
Gfactor Gfactor is offline
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I thought that there was no federal common law?
There's not federal common law in diversity cases, but there is federal common law: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/lawr...rsh-Murray.pdf

Quote:
If so, the rule wouldn't apply at the federal level unless it was actually set out in a federal statute?
It's . . . . complicated.

Quote:
Which wouldn't prevent a federal court from applying the case in a diversity case, where the federal courts apply the relevant state law.
True. In a diversity case, the court applies the choice of law rule of the forum state. http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c...5.94-2474.html which will require the application of some state's law.
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  #41  
Old 09-24-2009, 11:44 AM
gazpacho gazpacho is online now
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Yeah, not that I'm about to go off and try to scam a casino, but this part doesn't really ring true:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Originally Posted by Guest contributor Ianzin
If you sit down and play a few games first, whether cards or roulette or anything else, there comes a point when you'll have to add your fake chips to whatever stash has come your way legitimately. <snip> How are you going to get the fake chips on the table?
I don't see a big problem with that. Just last month in Atlantic City, I played blackjack with a bunch of chips I'd previously gotten at a craps table, and then brought my stash back for more craps later. Nobody batted an eye at me for moving the chips around.
Or, you never have to put them on the table at all. Say I have a few bogus chips in my pocket. I just gather up some legit chips by playing here and there, and eventually make my way to the cashier to exchange my fake chips mixed in with the real ones. The counterfeits don't see the light of day until I'm at the window.

Having said that, I do of course realize it would be illegal and incredibly stupid to try it. And I'm guessing that no matter how good a replica you think you've made, casino employees must be highly trained to spot the fakes and you wouldn't get away with it anyway.
There is no problem getting small numbers of chips onto the casino floor. When I go to Vegas I buy chips and go from table to table. I take them back to my room and come down the next day to play. In Vegas a lot of the casinos are owned by the same company and you can use chips from one hotel at a different hotel a few miles down the strip. I see no problem introducing a few thousand dollars of chips into play. If you want to move large sums of money hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars I can imagine the casino noticing that you seem to cash out a lot of chips without winning them.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:01 AM
ColdPhoenix ColdPhoenix is offline
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Originally Posted by msean View Post
Sell your counterfeit chips to those on the other side of the IQ spectrum.

Why go through the risk of cashing them in at a casino? Sell your $100 chips for $25 to someone with enough of a risk taking personality to do something as stupid as trying to scam a casino.
People do try this. I was in Vegas at the start of the month and someone tried to sell me $100 of chips for $75, he said he had to catch a flight. It seemed a bit dodgy to me so I told him I wasn't interested. He then said "You'll be getting $25 for free! The cashier's just in there!". I said, "Cash them yourself then" and walked off.

I didn't look at them but for all I know he bought a stack fo those souvenir chips for $5 or something. He could probably make a living that way!
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  #43  
Old 09-25-2009, 03:30 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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The question of gambling debts:
Legally, debts fall under contract law. I give you a pig, you give me $20; tit for tat. For money there must be consideration - it may be service, such as $50 for thsi job; or goods; or promise of whatever. Me saysing "I promise to gift you $100 on Friday" is not a contract for anything, therefore not a legally enforceable debt.

Gambling debts are (debatably) not an exchange of money for consideration, so technically would not be a contract; more like the "I promise togive you something" gift. this is one reason why historically they ahve not been enforceable.

Add to that the fact that since puritan days, gambling has been frowned on as a vice and the government saw no reason to encourage it. (Watch the movie "Barry Lyndon"; losing your fortune "gaming" was a common pass-time of the idle rich lords. The sandwich was invented by the chef of the Earl of Sandwich so he could eat without leaving the gambling tables...a bit too much dedication. etc.)

So, I guess even if a debt is now enforceable - if you have to go into debt to finance your gambling, well that's a gamble for whoever lends you money. OTOH, if Nevada court says you owe money, it's not up to California to say "no you don't".

----

Yeah, I always wondered about card counters. Obviously, having someone behind the opponent telling you where he stands is cheating. I can see the casinos saying even a counting computer in your shoe is cheating. But if you are just better at using you mind to play, what right do they have to ban you for palying better?

You may argue, "it's private property, private business", but the number of casinos is licensed, regulated, and limited by the state. -The analogy is, it's more like the public airwaves where you are given a precious share of a limited resource; and therefore must abide by some rules, instead of treating it like your own domain.

Actually I wonder if the casinos push the myth of the "casinos vs card counters" to encourage people to come to Vegas or wherever and try their inept and futile "systems" to beat the bank; more money in the bank's pockets.

I recall a news item about a lawsuit many years ago when Atlantic City first opened, where they were forbidden from banning people based on ability to play well (i.e. card counting). Not sure if they were able to change the laws?
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:57 PM
Bricker Bricker is offline
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Card counting is not illegal. Unlike cheating, which can land you in jail, card counters may be banned from a casino but not prosecuted.

And even that's getting rarer these days. With continous shuffle machines, a card counter's edge is almost completely blunted.
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:08 PM
John W. Kennedy John W. Kennedy is offline
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It's partly a question of the popularity of counting. People knew how to card-count faro decades ago, but almost no one bothered to, so the casinos didn't care. Blackjack is sexier, which means that counting blackjack is sexier, which made it more dangerous to the casinos.
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  #46  
Old 09-26-2009, 01:23 AM
Oakminster Oakminster is online now
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Counting is considerably harder than it looks, at least for me. I'm practicing a bit, haven't tried it at a casino yet. Right now, I don't think I can do it under actual gaming conditions with any accuracy.
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  #47  
Old 09-26-2009, 10:52 AM
Alex_Dubinsky Alex_Dubinsky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Faro enjoyed great popularity in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries. With its name shortened to Pharo or Faro, it soon spread to the America in the 19th century to become the most widespread and popularly favored gambling game, played in almost every gambling hall in the Old West during the California Gold Rush[1]. From 1825 to 1915, the game was the most popular enticement in almost every gambling hall in the American West.
Reading its description, it must be the easiest game to card-count ever invented. You have one deck. You place bets on which card will come up. You deal that deck, one card per bet, until the deck runs out.

Wiki doesn't say why Faro's popularity waned. Do any casinos have it?
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:44 PM
John W. Kennedy John W. Kennedy is offline
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I only know that by the sixties the situation was more or less that the main reason Las Vegas casinos offered a Faro table or two was sentiment, as though it were an endangered species. "What a deformed thief this fashion is!"
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:23 AM
MarkofT MarkofT is offline
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I happen to work for a company that makes chips under 3 different brand names, one of which is considered by chip collectors as "the casino/poker chip". We print our own inlays and decals and do no work outside the gaming industry which makes "Casino chip production is handled by the security printing industry, which also makes things like checkbooks and credit cards." at least a half truth (we do have competitors that may do such things) and at most wholly untrue.

Most casinos don't care about the small denomination chips. The $1 might get a single security feature. The $5, $10 will get one security feature. The $25, $50 would get 2 features. And on it will go up to the top denominations (Mirage's $25,000 chips are pink) that will have all of the features.

If you walk into Caesar's Palace and hand in 5 $100 chips, they will just verify you have 5 chips and hand you 5 $100 bills. If you walk in with one $10,000 chip they will call the pit(s) to see if anyone has left there recently with a chip that size and a general physical description. If the pit can't verify you should have the chip, then they check it's authenticity and security is seeing if they can't figure out your identity. Smaller casinos will have smaller reserves and will check smaller transactions. Poker Palace on North Las Vegas Blvd in North Las Vegas will call the pit for $100 transactions.

All casinos have a second rack of chips. If counterfeits are found they will pull in the chips in current circulation and replace them with the backup rack. Anyone bringing in the old chips will get a good going over about where they got them.

The Stardust closed in 2006 and has been closed for just under 3 years, not 6 as mentioned by another poster.
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Old 09-27-2009, 04:49 PM
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
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The Stardust closed in 2006 and has been closed for just under 3 years, not 6 as mentioned by another poster.
That would be me relying on worn-out brain cells. Hmmm. That was in 1995 or '96. I wonder if there's a list of Strip casinos that closed for good in 1989 or thereabouts.
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