Cheaters have always been the enemies of casino operators. They are people who are perfectly aware that casinos are always working to their advantage – and why shouldn’t they, since they are businesses interested in generating profits – and try to use sometimes immoral and often illegal methods to turn the odds to their advantage.
As you might expect, casinos are not very happy with these individuals. At one time, a prominent group of private investigators was established to deal with cheaters in Las Vegas. The famous Griffin vs. Blackjack case went down in history – the group has waged a long-running war against card counters, even though their practices are not entirely illegal, only frowned upon by casino operators.
Cheating, however, is impossible in online casinos. Since there are no actual cards at the tables of the Wild Jack, there’s no way for players to mark them in any way – a method often used in real-life casinos. Besides, the Wild Jack can (and probably is) shuffling the decks at the start of each blackjack round, making card counting impossible. With all the action going on on the servers, players can’t hack the games to turn them into their favour either. But in land-based casinos, cheaters are still trying to take advantage of the weaknesses of the system. But casinos are also doing their best to counter their methods.
Casinos have some of the most sophisticated surveillance systems designed to discover any and all methods through which a player would try to cheat. But the eyes of the surveillance personnel are not always enough to discover the tricks and methods employed by sophisticated cheaters. To prevent one method, swapping cards with others in the cheaters’ pockets, the Mirage, a well-known Las Vegas casino, has installed a system known as “Angel Eye”. It consists of a scanner that reads an invisible bar code printed on every card. If it happens not to find one, it notifies the dealer of the cheat.
Marketing meets security in the world of Las Vegas casinos. Paying close attention to customers is a must for gambling establishments – this way, they not only gather vital information about the habits of their players but can also discover irregularities that might indicate cheating or another type of criminal intent. At the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, for example, there is a security system that can spot a potentially undesirable individual by features like facial hair, visible tattoos or even habits, and do a background check on said individual if anything suspicious comes up.
Casinos have been among the first to implement sophisticated surveillance systems (the above-mentioned Griffin Investigations was among the first to use facial recognition to identify potentially unwanted individuals) and a proving ground for these. Systems that work in a crowded casino will surely cope in airports, train stations, and other similar places. Only there they are not meant to spot cheaters but potential terrorists.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.