Friday, August 17, 2018

Do Today's Legitimate Brick and Mortar Casinos Cheat Their Players?

Sexy woman luring victims?
I bet you have all heard stories about legitimate gambling casinos in the past willfully cheating their players. Most likely you heard the stories about card "mechanics"operating in the early days of legalized gambling in Nevada back in the '30s. Or those about shady casinos on cruise ships sailing in the middle of a dark and murky ocean.

But what about today's casinos? Do they cheat you?

Most of you would probably say no. Casinos have so much the best of it as far as odds go and are so heavily regulated that they simply would not and could not cheat their players...right?


And guess what: legitimate casinos cheat their players far more than you think.

Many of you probably disagree. You're working in reputable casinos all over the world and news of your casino deliberately cheating your players would be "fake news."

So let me qualify my statement.

I said that casinos today do deliberately cheat their players--but most of the time they are not actually doing it themselves and at times might not even be aware they're doing it.

At other times they are surely aware of it but feign ignorance to it.

Now you're saying to yourselves, "What is this guy talking about?"

I will give it to you straight.

The vast majority of casinos that intentionally cheat their players do it indirectly. By that I mean this casino-cheating happens through a process in which casinos lease casino space to disreputable gaming operators that are private entities and not affiliated with the ownership or operation of the casino itself.

A prime example of this are the casinos in the Dominican Republic. In many of them, off to the side in a shaded corner of the casino often not covered by surveillance cameras, are carnival-like bingo and keno games fronted by a sexy girl dangling free-bet coupons to draw players to the game.

One of these games goes by the name Jackpot-8 Ball or other names like Super Bonus Bingo or Keno. This questionable game is played at the Avalon casino in Punta Cana, the Diamante casino in Santo Domingo and in others throughout the country. Each casino offering it has the sexy girl luring customers to the table, which has a roulette-type layout for the bets.

The game starts where you get eight balls in a cup and have to throw them into a bin with numbers. They tally all the numbers and you get a chip on the corresponding number. There are three spaces on a board where your bet will double as well as the pot. These are common numbers, so the bet doubles frequently and you cannot lower your bet. They give you several legit ways to win but in order to win the jackpot you must reach 100 points total on the board.

That's where the scam comes in. The game itself is not a scam but making you believe you can win the jackpot is the BIG SCAM...HUGE SCAM!

You see, the only way you can get the 100 points and win the big jackpot, usually more than a hundred grand, is by repetitive investing in the game. And as it doubles and doubles again that investment becomes a fortune and ultimately breaks you.

So if you start out betting $10 and the pot is $1,000, you think you're looking good. Then you hit the double and your bet doubles to $20 per roll and the pot doubles to $2,000. Then both the betting and pot double again and again, and while this is going on the dealer and supervisor (who happen to be Americans I am told) are notifying you that all kinds of payment forms including credit cards are accepted to keep up with the frenzied betting pace.

What eventually happens is that the players max-out their credit cards because they've already invested all their cash, and finally the corresponding banks say "no more credit" or the players finally realize they cannot take the chance investing more money into this crazy game in a Dominican casino.

The casino con men running the scams know this...that everyone chasing the jackpot will eventually bust out chasing it. Therefore, no one wins and the casinos get an average take of about seven to ten grand per victim.

And they can claim there was no scam because the prospect of winning the jackpot is real.

This is a brutal scam and one to be very wary of. And for those who fall victim to it there is no recourse. The casino claims it has nothing to do with the game and refers you to the "casino vendor" who runs it in their casino. The vendor, you will painstakingly realize, is virtually non-existent, at least as communication goes. And the actual dealers and supervisors of the scam, who may or may not be real employees of the actual casino, will deny any knowledge of any impropriety whatsoever.

Then when you go looking for a casino gaming commission or control board, you learn there is neither in the Dominican Republic. And when finally, exasperated, and heartbroken over a ruined vacation, you go to the United States Embassy, or that of any other major country, you are cordially informed that the State Department consular page on the Dominican Republic warns of this very casino scam and to avoid separated areas of casinos!

Damn! You should've listened...but how the hell are you supposed to know there was a casino-cheating warning on, of all  places, the State Department consular page for the Dominican Republic.

And your last bailout-hope...of course is your bank. You call them and explain you've been victimized by a vicious casino scam and want to stop payment. But your bank can't help you either: you have already authorized the payment and the transaction for it is etched in stone.

So you're stuck the money and hopefully you've learned a painful lesson.

And be aware! This type of leasing-casino-space-to-shady-gaming-operators scenario is not limited to the Dominican Republic. I have heard of casinos in Bulgaria and other Eastern European countries doing the same thing, and there surely are incidents of casino-cheating-by-casino in these areas.

Note that this type of scam almost never happens in reputable jurisdictions such as the US, Canada and Western Europe.

And be aware as well that in some casino jurisdictions willful casino cheating by casinos themselves, not by vendors leasing casino space, does go on. I would point at Cambodia, Vietnam and perhaps Russia as places to be wary of as far as crooked casinos go.

So now that you know that legitimate casinos, either directly or indirectly, can and will cheat you, I offer you one single caveat: Never and I mean NEVER chase a jackpot or any other casino proposition where you have to keep paying to obtain your "guaranteed" win or jackpot.

And never...EVER...get your credit cards involved!

It all goes back to the ages-old axiom: "If it seems too good to be true..."