LV Bear’s Guide to Minimizing Risk of Personal Injury During Casino Backoffs and Barrings

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Skilled casino patrons are too often dealt with rudely, harshly, and sometimes even violently by casino personnel, merely for using their brains while in a casino. Sometimes inexperienced advantage players make the mistake of inadvertently worsening the situation, usually to their own detriment. With that in mind, I’ve prepared the guide printed below.

Skilled patrons are not the only ones at risk of receiving bad treatment from casino employees, though they are subjected to abuse more often. But sometimes just a lucky winner is harassed, threatened, and/or thrown out. Anyone who enters a casino should familiarize themselves with the principles detailed below. You never know when this knowledge will save you a lot of hassle, or even physical injury at the hands of casino thugs. Always keep in mind that a casino thinks of its customers as easily-replaced chumps. Casinos have little or no respect for their “good customers,” who they perceive to be suckers.

Many of society’s misfits are employed in casinos — particularity in security, but certainly in other departments as well. You can’t possibly know when something you do could cause one of these folks to snap and become violent. And sometimes petty people with the mistaken belief that they have some legitimate power or authority over others like to abuse their self-perceived authority, as in the first three incidents below. It might not be anything you said or did; they might just be having a particularly bad day and decided to take it out on you. Some of these folks apparently enjoy pushing people around. Examples:

The lasting impression this case leaves is one of egregious misconduct — gratuitous abuse of power, sanctioned by a casino …

Man returns lost wallet only to be handcuffed by casino guard

Tourist’s case serves as cautionary tale for security guards on Strip

(Judge) Tobiasson interrupted testimony by Chris Tovia, a security officer at Mandalay Bay…

Casinos, police, state officials often intimidate legal patrons, lawyers say

More incidents are discussed at’s Links to Media Coverage of Casino Abuse of Patrons


LV Bear’s Guide to Minimizing Risk of Personal Injury During Casino Backoffs and Barrings

Originally posted on Green Chip

Consider a confrontation with a casino employee, particularly a security guard, to be the same as a confrontation with an unpredictable wild animal. Do not expect that they will obey laws or act reasonably or rationally.

Never voluntarily go anywhere out of public view with a casino employee. If they want to backroom you, make them do it by illegally using force against you. Once they have made the decision to back you off or 86 you, there is nothing to be gained by any discussion with them. You will not be able to change their mind or reason with them.

Do not show ID or to stand there while they read you the trespass act. Pick up your chips, say nothing, and walk towards the nearest exit. Do not go to the cage to try to cash your chips. Do not say anything to anyone. If they try to “detain” you or interfere with your departure, tell them, “I am attempting to leave. Do not interfere with me leaving.” Do not make any gestures or movements that may be interpreted as aggressive towards them. Do not expect help from bystanders or police if casino employees commit a crime against you. Just get out of there safely if you can. Your physical safety is more important than anything else at that point. Do not believe anything they say, and do not trust them. Move quickly, but do not run. Running might give security goons a seemingly plausible excuse to attack you. If you car is in the parking lot or in valet, have someone retrieve it for you later. Do not go to your car when being 86’d.

If you are assaulted or physically detained, do not fight; do not threaten them, etc. Do not consent to anything. Do not sign anything. Do not admit to anything. When in a casino, understand that you are in lawless territory where the normal laws and rules of society do not apply. Let your attorney deal with them later. Try to get out as quickly as you can with as little personal harm as you can.


My friend and attorney on casino-related matters, Bob Nersesian, wrote a book about this subject. I highly recommend Beat the Players to anyone who goes to casinos for any reason.

Edited to add Bob’s second book, The Law for Gamblers: A Legal Guide to the Casino Environment


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