The Bear Growls: Sunset Station skullduggery
December 1, 2003
Sunset Station no longer delivers new, sealed boxes of cards to the table when changing cards. The procedure now is that a floorperson delivers the cards in a clear plastic box (not the card manufacturer’s box), and hands them to the dealer, who riffles once, and deals. No longer are the cards spread on the layout for the dealer and players to examine.
The dealer claimed to know nothing, other than “this is the way they tell us to do it now.” I asked a suit, who told me that the new cards are now opened in the “card and dice control room,” where they are examined and shuffled, then placed in the clear plastic box that they supposedly remain in until delivery to a table. He said this procedure has existed for “a couple of months.”
While I am not overly concerned about short-decking being a Station policy, it certainly would now be a simple matter for a rogue employee to remove some cards from the packs, now that there is no public, or even dealer, scrutiny of the process. It’s surprising to me that the dealers tolerate this practice, though most may not realize or care about the potential ramifications of being caught with a short deck at their table.
The suit admitted to me that “some” players had told him they would no longer play at Sunset Station because of this sneaky practice, but that overall there had been “very few” comments from players. The ploppies at the table when I observed the procedure were oblivious to it. It appears that management has made a decision that speeding up the games by not having down time at the table is more beneficial to them than keeping the players who are astute enough to notice and be suspicious of this procedure.
One would think that Station management would be especially concerned about the appearance of any impropriety, given the recent Bingo cheating scandal in which Station Casinos was involved. But apparently they don’t care. It’s unfortunate that the Nevada Gaming Control Board allows this type of skulduggery, but no surprise, given the “see no evil, hear no evil” attitude of the casino lackeys on the Control Board.
I imagine that this nefarious practice will soon spread to all Station properties. As of this writing, no other Station property has this procedure in place, as far as I am able to determine.
Subsequent to the above report being posted on Green Chip, there were the following comments from Sunset Station management:
Thank you for taking the time to give your opinion on the new card system.I am pleased to read the Floorsupervisor gave you a detailed account of the process although he/she forgot to mention that the process is completely monitored and handled only be certain members of the management Team. Also on the request of any Guest the cards will be spread and shuffled before play begins.
This system is used in a number of the large strip properties as well as large casinos all over the world and is only one system of many that are being implemented throughout the industry today.
Your concerns are appreciated and hope you visit Sunset Station again soon.
Director of Casino Operations
Ms. Vetter must not have made sure her underlings understand that “… on the request of any Guest the cards will be spread and shuffled before play begins. ”
Three dealers and three floor people refused to do this. Shame on Sunset Station for this poor practice in the first place, and for not being forthright about it afterwards.