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by Vinny DeCarlo

Vinny DeCarlo, a known author and radio talent, is a retired casino veteran of over 24 years working all facets of the business including upper management, pit, cage, surveillance and other departments. Currently, Vinny travels the states as a freelance reporter and a personal consultant to many Native American 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.

It wasn’t long ago when all the west coast casinos started opening. They took off like wildfire and were a big hit. It’s no secret that most of the big-ticket casinos in Vegas (there’s only one now) all pitched in money to fight the legalization of casino in California but, the people of California had spoken and there would be limited gaming venues for Native American Tribes.

Though gaming as a concept was now legal, there were more stipulations than a date with the Kardashian sisters. For instance, there aren’t any craps games since games utilizing dice for their final outcome were not allowed; therefore, they used playing cards (no face cards) turned down and each card numbered so that players could throw dice to see what card the dealer turned over and that would be what you rolled. No, really.

Though they managed to get casinos built and card games going, the idea of alcohol was a distant ship away. The owners of the people of California decided that the residents of the state were too stupid to drink and play games so, "no drinks for you, stupid."

A few of the casino owner/operators got together and proclaimed that this was bogus and since they couldn’t serve drinks, there was nothing for the scantily dressed cocktail waitresses to do. Therefore, they put All their brains together (they filled a thimble, they did) and came up with some ideas that they knew would make Vegas green with envy (or money). Here’s what they did, and, of course, how the ‘Elmer Fudd exploding shotgun’ syndrome ensued.

OK, alright, so the "no-drinks-for-you-meathead law" was held fast so the casino brass decided, "Let the girls offer their nuts," and they did. Now, instead of the cocktail servers having nothing to hawk, they could now walk around and offer players their nuts, soft drinks, chips, pretzels, etc. This went over well but the casino executives wanted to do more. "We’re going to teach Vegas a few things" was their mantra and they did. The mistakes they made are still legendary in Vegas but one must wonder, is that what they were shooting for? I mean, gee, I rather not be known for something I’d rather not have done. Well, anyway, they started serving full dinners at the players’ tables (no kidding) but the good state law said, "Our subjects of Kalifornia are much too simple to eat and play games" so they denied the request. The casino gurus came back with, "We’ll charge them and tax them for the meals and you, oh great leader, will increase your tax booty on your Kalifornian subjects." The Great Leader took this into consideration and then belted out, "Yeah, sure…OK, more taxes you say?? OK."

Within weeks, kitchen staff was placing trays next to the table games for the players. In fact, the pit podium had menus (no kidding, again), and would hand them out to anyone that played for more than 30 or 40 minutes. They thought this would keep the players at the table playing and it did.

One player, we’ll call him "Chicken Fingers John" loved this idea and was now a regular at most of the southern west coast casinos. John was a great player but he wanted more (advantage) and found it with the casino’s...

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