World Game Protection

Willy Allison's View from the Catwalk

Double Standards in Casinos - No Way (Yes Way)

Double Standards in Casinos - No Way (Yes Way)

For those who work in the casino business, you may or may not have read the fine print in your job description. It goes something like this: You will at all times adhere to the company's code of conduct and will take immediate remedial action if you recognize a potential compromise to game protection and patron safety. Sure, it's hard to find it in the carefully crafted cut & pastes from the legal and HR departments. It's probably located just above the line that says: If the customer's a high roller or hangs out with one - Fuggedabout the last line.

This month the Nevada Gaming Commission fined Caesars Palace $250,000 for "allowing" a player to dance on a baccarat table late last year. That's a hell of a lot of scratch for a table dance, even in this town. (I guess it's worth it if it includes a good spanking?)

Most of us in the business, especially surveillance guys, have more than one high roller story. The Caesar's dancing man story seems pretty lame when you've seen a guy pull his pants down after losing his last bet, climb up on the gaming table and play table-top leap frog around the pit. But I digress. We all have stories we can top each other with at the bar and I for one, would love to hear yours as well. (There's a comments section below if you haven't noticed.)

 There is, and has always been, a double standard in the casino industry when it comes to customer relations. Customer treatment is what the "valuable customers" get. Customer (lip) service is what the "not as valuable customers" get. Special customer treatment is administered to those valuable customers that often suffer from delusions of grandeur, wealth intoxication or just simply like to act like ass holes. Get a bunch of alpha males together, give them an open credit line and a casino host with bills to pay and you're bound to be expected to give special treatment. Hey, sometimes boys just want to have fun. In our business, the odds of running across these type on a daily basis are about the same as making an extra point conversion in football. That's the casino business. 

View October 2010I'm not saying our valuable customers shouldn't get special treatment. Casino executives have nightmares about high rollers whispering the words "I'm going somewhere else". But standing on a baccarat table - three times? And dancing?Sounds like a hell of a party. I can't help wonder if he was wearing Feng Shoes or did he stand on Natural 9's?  

Yes, there is a need for order in the pit and the preservation of player etiquette. But unfortunately when it comes to the treatment of players who step outside the lines, casinos often seem to take knives to gun fights and guns to knife fights. The weapon choice is often dependent on the net worth or expected value of the player. Lets face it. If that was a dude dancing on a $5 blackjack table, the odds are he would end up doing the cha cha in a police ca ca! 

I agree with the business concept that not all customers are the same and therefore they should not be treated the same. But when it comes to how a game is conducted in a regulated casino environment, it doesn't pay (obviously) to allow players to be  "Dancing with the Cards". 


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My Favorite was an Employee not a high rioller. A pit supervisors last day ended with a cart wheel all the way down the center of the pit. Suerveillance rules be damned, you go girl!
(April 27, 2011 ~ 5:51 AM)
By Code 9er
High Rollers
I think many of you are missing the point of the 80/20 rule. High Rollers at large casinos can contribute revenue supporting a lot of employee's wages. So some idiot dances on the table; Who was hurt, the 'reputation of gaming'? Not likely. Let's not take things quite so seriously and let's not forget who pays the bills.
(November 09, 2010 ~ 10:21 AM)
By Andy
veteran casino employee
the 250k fine by the ngc , was but a drop in the bucket, compared with the price that the playboy empire paid for allowing a very rich player along with a key member of management to abuse employees. the investigation of which closed its most proffitable gaming location.
(November 04, 2010 ~ 10:43 AM)
By Anonymous
Sky +
I certainly understand that some patrons enjoy special consideration... but dancing on the table doesn't fly in my book. Some markets are more regulated than others but I believe reasonalble conduct is expected across the board.
(October 17, 2010 ~ 8:57 PM)
By Sky +
You opened up a good topic. Great Job!!! This needs to be addressed for current and future Surveillance Employees and Employers. Doug Snowden on Willy Allison’s insight on: Double Standards in Casinos - No Way (Yes Way) Willy, you hit the nail on the head with my life, my job, my career! Wow. In Surveillances terms, who is the “suspect” and who is the “victim” in this? I worked in Surveillance at Borgata Hotel Spa and Casino, (possibly the best Surveillance crew there is). I was a big part of the conception and production of MDS News Letter/ ACS News Letter on the Catwalk, and I also produced the spinning logo on your page. (Sorry it took so long to load and slowed down the web page M8). You spoke at the A.C. Directors Conference held at Borgata in Atlantic City. I put together the Power Point Presentation that you saw during your VALUABLE visit and your speech you gave at the Borgata. Thank you for the compliment on the presentation I constructed! There are my credentials as far as my involvement with you. Now here is the point of topic: After opening and working at the Borgata for 6 years, I TRANSFERED to another property. It is a small river boat casino that sits upon the Illinois River. Professionally, I thought this casino would benefit from the experience I had acquired from Borgata. Man, was I wrong! While working at this Illinois Riverboat, my attendance was perfect, never late, never missed work... I worked there for a year before I was termed. During that year I had one verbal counseling in my file. One night on Graveyard Shift, I catch one of the FEW high rollers they have that come to the property, capping bets on Mini Bacc. I report too……, reviewed it with……, dub it too….., and did the report. I pass the incident to the day shift supervisor and asked if he wanted me to work extra and stay, etc……… The next night after arriving to work on grave shift, I was called up to the Surveillance Directors office. I was suspended pending investigation. Eight days later, I am called back and termed. It was ridiculous. In my eight day suspension, they came up with a stack of bogus write-ups sitting on the Director’s Desk to be turned into Human Recourses. It is also strange that: By their company policy, after being termed, an hourly employee is offered a hearing to appeal the termination. I was denied by the property, the opportunity to have this hearing to appeal. I think they are making a big mistake at this property in so many ways. We in Surveillance, have the opportunity to make a difference, (of untold dollars), to proactively enhance the operation with educations of our findings. I always thought we were there to advise upper management of issues so they could make the proper business decisions, and not let us in Surveillance be put to blame.
(October 10, 2010 ~ 8:25 PM)
By Doug Snowden
Surveillance Investigator III
There is way to much importance put on High Rollers I.E. VIP's Red Player card holders, let us not forget that while yes a high roller is a value, is is still Ma and Pa from the mid-west with thier nickles and quarters that built Las Vegas, this town could not and would not last if it had to depend on high rollers only.
(October 08, 2010 ~ 5:24 PM)
By Jerome Kohm
Yeah, we all have a few stories. And we all have a few horror stories about the way so-called high-rollers are treated. Just check out the cambodian casino that shuffled the cards after an auto-shuffler did it, and got scammed by a bunch of high rollers and the dealer they had bought. Our job in the management is to ensure our own people in Surveillance regard these antics as just another potential distraction to the dealers and supervisors (and surveillance), and be sure to be able to see what ELSE is going on while mr. h-roller is dancing on the table, or while ms. h-r Companion is displaying her virtues for all to see. This may be the point being made by NGCB.
(October 08, 2010 ~ 5:21 PM)
By JimG
Surveillance Manager
Willy, Steve and I were just talking about this stuff a month ago. Specifically as it related to high rollers abusing employees and the casino ignoring the rights of the worker for what the high roller brings in. As you said though, they can always go somewhere else and I understand the fear of casino executives have of losing a valuable player, especially in these times. My thought in the end is that if no one tolerated abuse of their employees, even by the most valuable patrons, these high rollers would have no choice but to act civil in casinos or they wouldn't be able to gamble.
(October 08, 2010 ~ 9:04 AM)
By George
surveillance serf
In a state that has a max bet of $100 we've a shortage of 'high rollers'...but no shortage of whinny assholes.
(October 06, 2010 ~ 9:12 PM)
By jim
See these vendors at the
WGPC in February