Question about casinos during an emergency

Hi SD,

I don’t know if the casino was evacuated during the recent shooting at Mandalay Bay. But it brought to mind a question. If a casino floor is evacuated due to an emergency of any type, what happens to the bets on the table? If I am doing really well in Blackjack, for instance, and I just scored a huge blackjack and was about to be paid at the time I was forced to leave the table, do I have legal recourse to pursue what I am rightly owed? Or how about chips that might be stolen? I understand that in an emergency casinos and hotels could care less about what individual bettors are doing, but there is a lot of legit money being transacted in gaming situations.

That blackjack table is being recorded by multiple cameras, from several angles. Those recordings are usually stored in a high-security server room with built-in fire-extinguishers, multiple redundant power backups, that’s designed to survive anything short of a major natural disaster (it’s stored alongside other data that is business-critical). In short, they’ve still got those recordings and can reconstruct how many chips each patron had.

Any bets in progress at the time of the disaster would probably just be reversed, as if you hadn’t made any bet at all.

Right. Casinos tend to have cutting edge information systems that are actually monitored. I work in IT and I was impressed when I went to Las Vegas a few years ago. I won a metric shit-ton of money in less than an hour in what was essentially a series of high-stakes double or nothing bets. This was at a huge casino/hotel (TI) and they never let it go for the rest of the time I was there. I kept getting offers to come back to the tables anytime I walked in the door but I didn’t do that because I like hard cash, not gambling.

I also hit a jackpot at a slot machine on one of the most down and out casinos on Fremont Street. The thing was so old that it paid out in Kennedy half dollars. I was thrilled to win about $150 on a ten dollar bet. It turned out that I had really won $800 and the machine had just run out of coins. Casino security tracked me down the street and made me come back and pick up the rest of the money. That is what you call a good problem to have. You aren’t going to be screwed over as long as you have legitimate bets and they have any way to track them.

Like a malfunction, an emergency likely voids all plays and pays in progress at the time. If the dealer had announced the result and was about to collect and pay the players, I believe generally that would be a result the casino would resolve via CCTV as referenced above.
It would be a fairly straightforward, though tedious, issue and to resolve across all tables

In such an event, does the casino even need to count the chips on the table to know the state of the betting? I imagine that all bets are tracked in real time electronically. Keep in mind that I’ve probably spent less than eight hours total in a casino in my life.

I was at Foxwoods playing craps when they lost power. Everything was immediately locked down. All bets stayed in place until security reported it was just an outage. As the outage involved catastrophic damage to their main electrical room they decided to close down. I waited, others left, anyone had the option of picking up their placed bets(as you always do). Once the decision was final to close they returned all bets including the bought ones. For people who left they knew who they were and how to get in touch with them, presumably they got their refunds.

It was actually pretty impressive how well thought out their systems and procedures were. the back up power systems included all the computers necessary to track and log all activity. As far as I know that’s the only time Foxwoods actually shut down like that.