What happens if you’re caught cheating in a casino?

Despite the image portrayed by Hollywood, nowadays, if you’re caught cheating in a casino you’re unlikely to come to physical harm but, depending on what you do and where you do it, you could find yourself in serious trouble. By definition, cheating is illegal, but punishments for cheats, or suspected cheats, vary from casino to casino and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

If you’re caught cheating, or even just suspected of cheating, you can reasonably expect to be detained and interrogated by casino security staff. In Nevada, for example, casino staff need only identify probable cause to detain suspected cheats, as long as the conditions under, and the length of time for which, a suspect is detained are deemed ‘reasonable’. If, following interrogation, the casino finds evidence of wrongdoing, you could be charged with a felony; if convicted, you could be liable for up to six years’ imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000, plus restitution to the casino.

Nevada casinos can also, legally, seize your winnings if you are suspected of cheating. Furthermore, if your cheating is warranted serious enough, your name could be entered onto the Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) Excluded Person List, colloquially known as the ‘Black Book’. The Black Book is essentially a ‘Who’s Who’ of charlatans, crooks and rogues from the past two or three decades – including infamous cheats, such as Tommy Glenn Carmichael and Ronald Dale Harris – who are, or were, permanently excluded from every casino in Nevada as a result of their illegal activity.