Advantage Play More Difficult at Tribal Casinos

thIf you think about it, playing in a casino is a privilege, just as walking into a shoe store and buying your favorite pair of shoes is. And, just like that shoe store, the casino has the right to throw you out for a variety of reasons. You can have fun, but don’t abuse your privilege.

It’s beyond fun for some gamblers who will use legal means such as card counting, or many types of illegal means to get an advantage. Legal ways of advantage play such as counting cards still might not be tolerated, and the casino may do many things to stop your play once they know.  In the old days, stories have been told of beatings in the back room, or other abusive treatment. Today, while some of that type of intimidation is still true, most will either ask you to play a different game, or ban you from the casino all together.Casinos are considered private property

indian-casinoHowever, for gamblers skilled at counting cards, it can be especially risky to play at America’s tribal casinos: Those who have gotten caught tell stories of seized winnings, wrongful detentions, or worse. Casino bosses everywhere have ways of making so-called “advantage players” feel unwelcome, regularly tossing and blacklisting them. But gamblers have limited options to press claims of mistreatment at Native American-owned properties, which generally are shielded from lawsuits in outside courts by laws recognizing tribes’ sovereignty.

Casinos are considered private property, and thus can ask you to leave, for whatever reason.  Tribal nations are worse in their independent nature – their are considered independent nations.

Now, a pair of lawsuits in federal courts is testing the principle of tribal immunity in cases involving allegations of abuse and bias in tribal justice systems. These cases, in Connecticut and Arizona, involve crackdowns on advantage players who say they use card-counting or other methods that shift the odds in their favor, but generally are not illegal.

“You do not have a level playing field,” said Stanford Wong, a Las Vegas-based gambling expert who advises readers of his newsletters to be aware that tribal properties are governed by their own laws. “In a tribal casino, there’s no recourse whatsoever. You can’t sue them in regular court. The odds are all stacked against you.”


The Rainmaker at Foxwoods

The Rainmaker at Foxwoods

At the country’s largest Indian casino, Foxwoods here in New England, three gamblers from China claim the casino wrongly seized $1.6 million deposited as “front money” and $1.1 million in winnings after accusing them of cheating at mini baccarat during a graveyard shift on Christmas Eve 2011. The gamblers said they used a card-monitoring practice called edge-sorting, which involves players being able to tell the difference between some cards because of imperfections on their non-playing sides.

So, being an advantage player can be troublesome and downright dangerous – especially if you are perceived as cheating.

That’s all for now