If anyone needed proof that money can be a corrupting influence, there is news that a baccarat dealer at a casino in Maryland was caught helping players cheat the house. He did so by flashing the deck to players. The quid pro quo of the endeavor was that the players would win large sums of money by placing sure fire bets and then would later share the winnings with the dealer.
Cameras and Pit Men
Land based casinos have long known that the close proximity of gamblers to dealers could result in chicanery, aka cheating and stealing from the house. To combat such attempts, land based casinos use cameras to oversee all casino operations. Thus, it is next to impossible to get away with cheating the house even once and certainly not more than once.
It is virtually impossible to cheat the house at an online casino. The reasons are simply that there are only virtual dealers; everything at an online casino is computerized and digital. In addition, every game outcome is determined by the Random Number Generator (RNG). Land based casinos use real dice, real roulette wheels, real decks of cards for blackjack and baccarat, and real bingo and keno rooms.
Only the video games—slots and video poker—are digital and they run on a RNG as well. Land based casinos are always looking out for their interests which includes watching dealers as closely as possible because the potential financial windfall from even one successful attempt to cheat the house is very great.
If players felt that online casinos were less than 100% honest, they wouldn’t gamble there. The RNG and encryption software make online casinos about as fool proof as any financial operation or gambling emporium could be.
Honesty is but one reason—albeit the most important one—that attracts players to online casinos. Another is the many excellent bonuses that online casinos can offer players. Such casinos offer so many bonuses that they employ bonus codes to keep track of them all. This is a far cry from the situation at land based casinos where bonuses are harder to come by.
Thus, the temptation to cheat the house is so great at land based casinos even as it is virtually non-existent at online casinos.
Casino Remains Unnamed
The identity of the casino has been kept hidden probably because the casino doesn’t want the negative publicity that would ensue were its name known. Even though the event was a theft that the casino caught, the casino’s management felt that it would place the casino in a bad light with the public. The possible thinking by the public—as misguided as it would be— was that if a dealer and players can conspire to cheat the house of about one million dollars, perhaps the house could conspire to cheat customers.
How the Cheat Went Down
The dealer allowed one customer to photograph the cards in the baccarat deck they were playing with. This gave the players almost 100% certainty as to how to place their bets. They made very large bets and won slightly more than one million dollars.
The dealer and his co-conspirators made two very bad mistakes in effectuating their plan. First, they didn’t account for the many cameras that record almost everything that goes on on the casino floor. It was very foolhardy on their part to think that they could fool the cameras and not be recorded photographing the cards.
Surveillance and security are vital components of every land based casino. Attempts to cheat the house are rare because the chances of getting caught are so high. Surveillance often deals more with problems that come up on the floor such as disputes at any game or with gamblers who have had too much alcohol and are behaving badly. Nevertheless, all surveillance and security measures are also designed to catch the rare attempt to cheat.
The second mistake was making such large bets. Any bets that can cause a player to win six figures or more—and can therefore cause the house to lose that large a sum—causes that casino to look very closely at the gambler or gamblers involved. A gambler would have to be a true high roller to make such large bets and the casino would like to treat him or her in the fashion it usually treats high rollers.
Conversely, if the gambler looks not to fill the profile of a high roller, the casino will automatically think that the gambler is either a gambling addict, someone not to be allowed to gamble at the casino, or a cheat.
In the end, the dealer worked with his partners in crime for three months before the casino was certain that they were cheating and showed the evidence to state authorities. The evidence was so damning that the dealer plead guilty. To add insult to injury, his partners have yet to be identified so as of now the dealer is taking the fall for everyone involved.
The dealer faces up to five years in prison. As if that isn’t bad enough, the casino and the prosecutors agree that he should pay back as much of the money he helped steal as possible. That would effectively bankrupt him.
First of all, never try to cheat the house at a land based casino. Even players who count cards in blackjack are not liked by the casinos because such players win without cheating. Card counters are simply banned from playing at the casinos that know about them. Cheaters literally steal money from casinos are thus far more disliked—so much so that casinos will prosecute cheaters if they can prove that cheating has taken place.
The prosecution of the baccarat dealer and the prospect that he will sit in jail and lose all his assets are as much a warning to all others to not try to cheat the house as it is about prosecuting one derelict dealer.