Casino Gambling: For Your Security . July 2001

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Casino Gambling: For Your Security

by Gayle Mitchell

A casino vacation for fun and relaxation plus the 'profitable' possibilities can be ruined by not being watchful of your own security. Most people are safety and security conscious at home, therefore, vacation time should be no different.

A short list for casino players follows to ensure a 'safety shield' when casino hopping,  particularly women who are gambling alone.

1) Women--don't bring your purses to the casino.  Wear a waist purse or fanny pack when gambling; not only are your credit cards, personal identification and money safes, but your hands are free for games and machines.

When gambling alone, ask a security guard to escort you to your car when you leave, or use valet parking in the larger gambling areas. Two bucks for valet parking is a cheap price to pay for safety considering that most casino parking lots are not well lit or well patrolled.  Insist on a room close to the elevator and use the hotel safe for valuables.

2) Don't take large payouts in cash, ask for a cashier's check to be issued by the casino.

Resist the temptation to brag about your huge win or count your bills at the cashier's cage, in an elevator or on the casino floor.

3) Be wary of people who suddenly become your friend after a big win, and check that you are not being followed around the casino or outside. Also beware of pickpockets, especially in Las Vegas.

4) Airports that serve nearby casinos require additional safety measures. Don't get distracted by strangers with unusual questions. The scam is set up by one person who gets your attention with inane questions or chatter, while the other grabs and disappears.

Be sure that your expensive luggage, VCR, laptop computer or camera is within your view or watched by someone at all times.

5) Check to see if there is a pass-through to the other side's bank of machines from where you are playing. Scam artists can reach through from the opposite side to the shelf beside your machine and grab your coin bucket you placed there.

I have noticed that more casinos, especially in Nevada and Atlantic City, now have partitions to stop this crime. However, if there are not petitions, it's best to hold your bucket of coins on your lap or between your legs as a precaution.

6) Watch for the "drop the coins in front of you" scam, where you are distracted, offer to help and find too often that your bucket of money is being removed.

7) Craps table rails make for easy snatches as the players are very involved and distracted in this fast-paced game.  Hold your money in your hands, or pocket it for safety.

Although the casinos try to be helpful and don't like the nightmares that customers' stolen money can bring; nonetheless, those surveillance cameras are watching the casinos' money, not yours!

Gayle Mitchell is author of  Casino Gambling Made Easier   books, booklets and strategy cards.