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by Vinny DeCarlo

Vinny DeCarlo is the author of How to Beat Casino Surveillance Ė Insiderís Secrets for Card Counters. He is a retired veteran casino man with over 20 years of upper management experience. His expertise covers the pit, security, and surveillance, and he even served as a General Manager for two different casinos. Currently, Vinny travels the states as a freelance reporter and a personal consultant to many Indian casinos. According to Vinny, there are two types of casino employees - those that know him, and those that claim to know him; therefore, never believe what you hear.

Note: This two-part article offers insiderís advice on how blackjack players can take maximum advantage of casino comps while eluding the scrutiny of the casino marketing mavericks that donít take kindly to skilled blackjack players getting comps. Part 1 appeared in the July issue of BJI.

The Informational Infrastructure

Some players fall through the cracks and elude the (casino) marketing departmentís scrutiny for long periods but, in the back of their mind, eventually you will be tagged. This might be in a few weeks, months, or even a year but rest assured, eventually they will get wise to you (if youíre winning). One thing for sure is that all those special offers, free stuff, and discounted rooms will eventually end.

A good portion of advantage players are fingered everyday and here is the kicker: you donít even have to be present or even in town for that matter. It just happens unexpectedly: You are no longer welcome to play at that casino. What really bites is the fact that most casino departments have failed at the old art of communication. What does this mean to you? Well, the following is a true story that should explain what I mean.

Joyce CENSORED came into town from Wisconsin. She took the red eye to save more money for gambling. She had a reservation at Casino X and made sure to book the four-day stay well in advance as the CENSORED convention was in town. She takes a cab from McCarran to casino X (at three in the morning). While trying to check in, she is advised that her business is not welcomed at this casino and that she would have to leave right away or face being trespassed. If you think this is an isolated incident, call me as I have the original London Bridge in my backyard for sale and I can make you a good deal on it.

Just imagine, right now as youíre reading this, someoneís win and loss statements are being audited (by some marketing guru-report runner) at some casino. This report is being scrutinized with the efficiency of an IRS agent doing a fraud audit with the results being Ďwe donít want this player to ever return to this property under any circumstance".

Funny huh! Whatís even funnier is that this is true and it happens with a certain amount of frequency on a daily basis. Moreover, if you donít believe me, well hell, I really donít care.

O.K, so you decide not to get rated. This will solve everything, or so you think. The proverbial can of worms has just been opened, as this is a very bad move. Not allowing the casino to rate you will ring all of hells bells and you will face scrutiny unbeknownst to an honest citizen. Whatís even worse is that the scrutiny will begin immediately, right here, right now. Refused named players take precedence over the average Joe Blow, long haul, eww, please rate me baby, card playing, club-card-carrying casino club member. Remember that the club-card members have allowed the casinos to create and maintain a dossier file of sorts on them. The Marketing department, like a rouge audit agent, has access to all your playing history, including your winning and losing sessions, your eating and drinking habits, your bank account and credit card accounts and your spending habits (past charges), your spouses name as well as your girlfriends name and favorite champagne so that it will be waiting in your room when you check in and more.

Taking all of our numbers into consideration is the equivalent of planning the long term raising of a child while out on an innocent date with a member of the opposite sex that you really only want to test ride like some sort of Disney ride. Think about your long-term actions, and these crucial thoughts should come to mind: diapers, clothes (for 18 years), medical costs and concerns, school, college, their first set of wheels, toys, etc. Think about that before you hop in to bed for a few minutes (or in my case, a few seconds) of fun. If everyone considered these things prior to making such a decision, there would be a lot less people on our planet. On the other hand, some people just donít care.

Now back to the subject at hand and the explanation of the prior analogy. Those people (the ones that donít consider their long-term results and consequences of their lack of planning) become the casualties of advantage play.

By allowing yourself to be rated while staying under radar and grinding away with a meager bet spread (1 to 5 units), and accepting a small gain or E.V., may grant you some longevity but sooner or later those winning numbers will add up and your past playing history will face the microscope. Worst-case scenario could range from being removed from the invited guests list to being asked flat out to leave the casino.

So, what the hell are we to do? Well, first...


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