Can casinos ban you for winning? Why do people get kicked out of casinos?
There is a plethora of stories about customers who were unlawfully’ kicked out and banned from casinos around the world.
Look around any forum, be it Reddit, Digg or just about anywhere else and you will see countless accounts of card counters, hustlers and ‘innocent’ customers sharing tales of being kicked out, moved on or banned from casinos.
It sounds harsh, players hit a good run, are having too much of a good time or are chatting amongst friends and, just like that, they are taken out the front door by the scruff of the neck. Dig a little deeper, however, and you will usually find that there is absolutely nothing wrong, on a legal level anyway, with kicking out players. Casinos do so on a regular basis.
It’s not because security doesn’t like the way certain players look, or they are not so keen on their betting patterns. The problem is that the players are genuinely playing with either an unfair advantage or by unfair means.
So why exactly are people removed from casinos? Can a casino ban you for winning?’
Reasons people get kicked out or banned from casinos
There are a couple of reasons people are more than likely to be asked to leave the table, get kicked out or banned from the casino, regardless of how much of a celebrity he or she is (as Ben Affleck famously found out).
So what behavior will get even the most popular A-lister kicked out or cause a casino to institute a ban from a favored establishment?
Disregarding the casino etiquette
The most common reason a paying customer is kicked out, moved on or banned is disregard of the casino etiquette.
That can take many different forms, whether it’s drinking too much, being rude to staff and other customers or general disorderly conduct. All of these will get you a one-way pass out the front door.
Drinking too much
Maybe the fastest way to get removed from any casino is by drinking too much.
This doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed one or two of your favorite drinks (if they’re free it would be rude not to), but rather pushing limits to infinity and beyond. So hold on a second Buzz Lightyear, maybe it’s time to take a look at how many drinks you have had this evening and order water for the next round.
After all, if you’re getting a little more than tipsy on the gaming floor, there’s no telling what you could be getting yourself into. With your mind the most valuable asset when gambling, it pays to keep it hydrated and ticking over in optimum condition – and you’ll keep the casino ban at bay.
Losing your manners
In big-money situations, especially when alcohol is involved, it’s not rare for people to lose their cool and their manners in one fell swoop.
It comes as no surprise that this is a big no-no in the casino world. Once you’ve been rude to the dealers, staff and other players, it’s hard to take back. No screaming, outrageous behavior or abusive insults allowed – no matter how bad of your losing streak might be.
If you are letting your mood get the best of you, you should not be surprised when asked to cool down, step away from the table or you are kicked out of establishments.
Loitering and taking pictures
If you’re looking for another way to gain the attention of security, loitering around other players is a great way to go about getting moved on.
Nobody likes strangers standing directly behind them, following them around or harassing them while they are out to have a good time. If you’re hanging around the tables without any sort of rhyme or reason, watching certain players non-stop or are focused on something you shouldn’t be, expect to be promptly moved on.
The same goes for snapping pictures without permission. It’s a good idea to ask permission and look for any signs prohibiting photography. Even if it is allowed in your casino of choice, it’s not the best idea to go around snapping pics of people if you like keeping warm indoors.
It goes without saying that you should always ask permission before taking photos of strangers in the establishment; it’s only polite. Leave your manners at the door and, as previously mentioned, you’ll be thrown out of it.
Cheating in the casino
It’s hardly surprising that if you have entered the casino with the intention of cheating or pursuing any form of prohibited techniques that you can be asked to leave.
It’s not just the security staff on the casino floor you will have to worry about if you’re brave enough (or stupid enough) to try to cheat, but also the countless unblinking eyes in the sky for which casinos are famous.
If you are unaware, a typical casino floor is littered with security cameras that are usually manned 24/7 in an effort to catch out those with foul intentions. Cut to the 21st century and it’s not just the eyes fixed on the security monitors you must worry about, but AI systems that can recognize the signs of a dodgy customer.
You can’t hide from the eye in the sky, no matter how hard you try.
If you’re trying your hand at swapping out chips, slipping cards into your hand or even flat-out stealing – you will be kicked out and banned from just about every casino. It’s not hard to see why either, not when you’re shrinking their bottom line by unfair means.
Suspicious betting patterns
Even if you’re not strictly cheating, suspicious betting patterns might be enough to alert both security and the eye in the sky.
Betting $2 on hands that you lose and $100 on the hands that you win isn’t usually just clever play and will qualify you for suspicious betting patterns. You might not be asked to leave straight away, but it won’t be long before you’re asked a couple of questions at the minimum.
You’re not expected to bet big on all your losses, just as long as you’re not upsetting the randomness of the casino game you’re playing.
Counting cards in blackjack
This is it – the big one. The most talked-about reason for getting kicked out of any casino around the world. Counting cards when playing blackjack.
It’s pretty hard to make a law against mathematics and memory so it may surprise you that counting cards isn’t actually illegal or classed as cheating – but it is frowned upon if you’re caught doing it in any casino.
If you’re caught card counting, the chances are that you will simply be asked to try your luck at another game because you are ‘too good at this one’. Casinos do have this power, no matter how unfair it may feel, and can refuse to permit customers to play for any reason. If you are asked to move along, it’s best to do as they suggest.
Of course, there are reports of individuals being kicked out, or even banned from casinos for counting cards; the majority will simply ask you to try a different game. It’s best to do as the staff say and politely oblige. In some cases, depending on the casino, your winnings can be confiscated and your image will be distributed to casinos in the immediate area to prevent your entry.
Note: It’s not uncommon for casinos to find obscure reasons for which to escort you out once you are caught playing blackjack particularly well…
Can a casino ban you for winning?
As a general rule, no casino will ever ban you for winning, provided that you are playing inside the game’s rules and without taking advantage of any form of system to gain better odds.
Counting cards falls under this category and, although it’s not cheating, it is classified as using a system for an unfair advantage. Providing you are not doing anything that can be classed as unfair and you are avoiding any sort of advantage, you won’t be banned for winning.
Casino bosses would much rather you keep up a winning streak for a short period of time before eventually losing it all due to the house edge. It might sound a little harsh, but it’s the reality of the casino business.
Voluntary exclusion programs
There is another way by which players can be banned from a casino. This one might be a bit of a surprise.
If a player would like to receive a casino ban for life, it can be made possible with a voluntary exclusion program. The ban is not for being loud, winning ‘too much’ or getting caught cheating, but rather the player’s choice. It’s a popular scheme for those who have struggled with gambling addictions in the past and forces players to keep themselves away from the casino when it’s in their best interests.
The programs can be mandated by the government or created voluntarily by the casinos and other gaming operators. Members of the American Gaming Association, the body responsible for all commercial casinos in the United State, are required to provide guests with the option of voluntary exclusion programs. If a player then enters the casino, they risk trespassing charges and must forfeit any winnings they may have benefitted from during their time in the casino.
Many casinos have the option of a lifetime casino ban, but as of recently, there has been some progress with shorter bans as the ‘lifetime casino ban’ may prevent addicts from enrolling with no option of any future gambling.
Can you be banned from online casinos?
A casino ban isn’t just restricted to the brick-and-mortar establishments. If you are breaking the rules at an online casino, you should expect to be banned from there, too.
As with land-based casinos, there are a couple of different ways you can earn yourself a casino ban when playing online.
The number of underage gamers has skyrocketed in the last few years and with so many online casinos available, it’s no surprise.
It’s difficult for online casinos to accurately verify the age of a player, so there are ways and means around it. However, if a player is caught to be under the legal gambling age in the state – that player will be banned from the site.
It’s best to wait until you’re of legal age before chancing your luck at any online casino.
Abusing the welcome bonuses
Another great way to get yourself a ban is by using and abusing the welcomes bonuses that casinos offer to new players.
The keyword in the above statement? New. There are plenty of punters taking chances to benefit from the welcoming treats more than once by using dodgy accounts, different email addresses, and telephone numbers in an effort to conceal their identities.
Online casinos use some seriously smart software and will be able to find a player using their site with multiple accounts in second. It’s no surprise that this is by far the fastest way to get yourself banned from an online casino.
If you’re such a huge fan of welcome bonuses you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of different ones available – but you’ll have to shop around and use different sites to take advantage of them.
Applying cheating systems and/or strategies
Finally, you can proudly earn yourself a casino ban if you apply cheating systems and strategies when playing at your favorite online casino.
There are plenty of different unfair strategies from which to pick if you are trying to get one over on the casino, so it is no surprise that online casinos always stay vigilant. There is sophisticated software looking for suspicious activity, money laundering, and cheating – so if you don’t fancy being served a ban, it’s best to play the games exactly as they were intended – without cheating.
Operators don’t have to prove you were cheating at the time of the suspected offense, they’ll simply spot you and ban you without questioning.