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By LVBear

Long-time Las Vegas-based advantage player, casino critic, and frequent and BJ Insider contributor LVBear offers his opinions on things that sometimes go wrong in the world of casinos.  Current and past growls can be read and comments posted at LVBear's website,


Nevada Gaming Control Board gives casinos permission to harass patrons with impunity.

Title 31 has been the law of the land for quite some time, except in Nevada, where Regulation 6a was in force. Now that Regulation 6a has expired, Nevada casinos are making up new excuses to harass winning patrons, using a tortured construction of Title 31 as an excuse to do so.

Nevada’s useless and corrupt Gaming Control Board as usual has positioned itself cozily in the pocket of the casino industry against the interests of patrons. Board member/industry hack Mark Clayton wrote:

… if a licensee chooses to implement an identification standard for transactions less than $10,000, the Board will support a licensee who refuses to make a cash payment until the patron provides appropriate and requested information. For race and sports winning tickets, if a patron does not provide the appropriate identification, the casino shall maintain the unpaid status of the ticket in the bookmaking system.

No other state has taken this position. No other state’s casinos harass patrons in this manner. Again, the Board has embarrassed Nevada.

Mr. Clayton, maybe in a feeble attempt to make a joke, added:

It is important to apply those policies in a fair and consistent manner.

If Mr. Clayton believes that Nevada casinos will comply with his wish, perhaps he also believes in the Easter bunny. Clearly, casinos will not "apply those policies in a fair and consistent manner." They will harass with impunity whoever they please , now worse than ever. There will be no penalties or enforcement actions taken for violations of Mr. Clayton’s wish. The Gaming Control Board makes me sick.

Note:  The Gaming Control Board did not respond to a request for comment.


Harrah’s CEO Gary Loveman puts his foot in his mouth again

From the article Better Take Care Of Big Spenders

… 20-somethings are always broke and too busy; 30-somethings are married with kids.

"God bless you, but we don’t need you," he said of the latter category.

I hope Harrah’s receives plenty of bad publicity over this stupid comment. Even if the comment is true, Mr. Loveman should know better than to say it.


McCarran Airport petty ripoff

Last week there was a short power failure at Las Vegas McCarran Airport, right as I was driving into the economy parking lot at the start of a playing trip. An attendant told me that no ticket could be printed because of the power outage, but that they would note when the power failure occurred and would charge me accordingly when I paid my bill upon my return from the trip. The power outage lasted from about 5 PM until about 6 PM.

The airport was surprisingly efficient during the power outage. It took only sixteen minutes longer than average from the time I left my car until I was through the TSA checkpoint. The TSA area was operating under auxiliary power, and had staff politely prodding the dawdling passengers to move along. Their efforts were appreciated.

After I returned from my trip and retrieved my car, I was charged from 12:01 am on the power failure day, instead of from 5 PM or 6 PM. The lot attendant’s computer appeared to be preset to use 12:01 am as the time for patrons who entered during the outage.

The difference between what I was charged and what I should have been charged was only four dollars. The attendant barely spoke English, and I didn’t feel like hassling him about it. I paid the four extra dollars and drove away.

I imagine several hundred people entered the various McCarran lots during the time the power was out. Even if every one was swindled out of four dollars, which they probably were, it’s a drop in the bucket to the operating fund of the airport. But it still is annoying that a public entity would so brazenly steal from the public. It sends a particularity bad message to visitors to our city — even the airport will rip them off.


Crisis management and threat assessment expert gets it right about casino security.

From this news article:

Larry Barton, an expert in crisis management and threat assessment at American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. … noted the lack of security guard involvement until Zegrean was subdued by civilians. Casino security guards are paid relatively low wages and receive minimal training, which leads to high turnover and lack of experience, he said.

"Casinos have a long way to go and a tall mountain to climb in training security guards," Barton said. "Casinos need to wake up. This hurts branding and creates anxiety in guests."

I have long railed against the poor selection, hiring, and training process for casino security guards. It appears that most casinos hire virtually anyone off the street for these jobs, especially if the job candidate appears to enjoy pushing people around. Of course, when there is a real threat, these loathsome bullies are nowhere to be found.

After some stupid comments made by casino executives about guards, and after the shameful abuse of prosecutorial power in Lake Tahoe against a patron who was defending himself against an criminal attack by Harrah’s guards, it is good to see someone tell the truth about the sorry condition of casino security. With the numerous jury verdicts and settlements against the casino industry for guard misbehavior, one would think the industry would wake up. I wonder what it’ll take before the casino industry upgrades its dismal standards for guards.  Does someone have to be killed before these people will clean up their act?


Fight for online gaming continues.

My friend The Engineer continues his tireless struggle against the sleazy politicians who want to take away still more of our freedoms. For updates on his efforts, click here.


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