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Detained by Casino Security

Las Vegas, NV |

What to do when being pulled into the casino's backroom?

I'm an out-of-state resident, and thinking of visiting vegas strip casinos to play blackjack. Card counting is not illegal but casinos don't like it, and may try to tap me on the shoulder, and armstrong me into a backroom. Any attorneys experienced in this type of situation? I surely hope nothing of this sort would happen, but just in case, I'd like to have some attorney contact info lined up, so I can call. If I do call, we can do this on a retainer basis.

Attorney Answers 2


Actually, you are more likely to get comped than detained if they detect you counting.

Very few people both actually understand it *and* are capable of doing it well enough. So the response is much the same as to anyone else with a system: "welcome."

Casinos *do* have significant power to detain for cheating, but the 21st centurry is a bit different than the 1960s . . . (no more back room beatings, cornfields [which we never had, anyway!], . . ._

Cheating, though, is another story. If the "counting" goes in any way more than your own memory, it's probably cheating, and (at least) a gross misdemeanor.

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1 lawyer agrees


I humbly disagree with Hawkins. Casino security is specifically empowered by Nevada law to detain you for SUSPICION of a felony. Cheating at a casino game is a B felony in Nevada. While counting cards does not fall within the definition of cheating, they could detail you for suspicion of cheating. Casino security has a long history of "roughing up" card counters and cheaters. Basically, they would likely detail you on suspicion of cheating, possibly rough you up, and then let you go. At that point, the evidence of any incident magically disappears, and you are left with unexplained injuries and very little evidence to make a civil case against the casino.

If casino security suspects you of a felony they are supposed to detain and immediately call metro. They can question you, but you always have the right not to talk to them.

If you are simply at a single-deck blackjack game, estimating the outcome by the number of face cards that have been dealt, you can probably get away with it. But movies like "21" don't happen. Casinos will not let you get away with it. Once you start winning substantially, they will put a stop to it.

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1 comment

Cal Johnson Potter

Cal Johnson Potter


I agree with Tom. However, the casino is suppose to contact the Gaming Control Board on the detention for suspicion of cheating. Unfortunately Tom's firm and I are currently representing two out of state individuals, although not card counters, who were roghed-up by casino security.

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