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By Robert Loeb

Robert A. Loeb is a criminal defense attorney in Chicago, who has also represented advantage players in gambling cases.  Loeb is co-author of the book, Blackjack and the Law, with I. Nelson Rose. The book can be purchased at  Mr. Loeb can be reached at 312-368-0611, and at

Identification cards with false names.

The uses of fake identification cards are a big issue for advantage players, but are they for you? Like gambling itself, it may just be a matter of weighing risk vs. reward.

Advantage players may want to use an alias for a variety of purposes. The most obvious is when a player has been formally barred or informally 86íd from a casino. If the player wants to return and play there again, disguising his or her identity helps in that effort. It may be to avoid being recognized or listed in the Griffin book or some other database. It might be a preventative measure in which a player anticipates the tap on the shoulder, and wants to be able to return using his real name. There may also be comp or coupon strategies that benefit from a second identity.

Iím going to start with the warning that using a fake ID can be very dangerous and (legal disclaimer) Iím not really recommending it for anyone. In this article Iíll discuss whatís clearly illegal, what forms of fake IDs may be legal, and the pitfalls and risks of even apparently legal forms of identification using different names.

We start with traditional, common law, which says that it is illegal to use a fake name, or false identification, for purposes of fraud. It follows that it should be legal to use a false name if there is nothing illegal or fraudulent involved. And it certainly is proper to file documentation to legally change oneís name.

So what is clearly illegal?

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