Should there be a casino conduct Code?
January 28, 2014 3:00 AM
by Irene Edith
As the American Gaming Association seeks to discourage addictive gambling, it also encourages casinos to post a Patron Code of Conduct with rules to which players must adhere.
While waiting for a seat at the $4-$8 limit hold’em game, I was reading the Hustler Casino Patron Code of Conduct (issued August 11, 2013). All in all, it has 17 regulations covering a wide range of topics designed to protect the players as well as the casino.
Examples: No loitering; No soliciting; No sleeping on casino property; Please be respectful and courteous at all times; No spitting of gum, tobacco or other substances; Smoking prohibited in the casino and within 20 feet of any entrance; Hoodies are not allowed; Proper attire must be maintained at all times.
I found it interesting that the Code of Conduct does not include the requirement that all people entering the casino must be 21 years of age or older. (It’s lower in Indian casinos.)
It is appropriate and commendable that the casino has such a document, and it is well displayed with copies available to all. I won’t dwell on all of the items in the Code, but several caught my attention and are worthy of special note:
• No abusive or threatening language or physical gestures toward casino staff, including security staff, or to other patrons.
• English only while at the gaming tables.
• Any activity deemed to be collusion, dishonest or a form of cheating will not be tolerated.
The Code does not deal directly with drinking alcoholic beverages that are readily available from the cocktail waitresses and at the bar.
Personally, I make it a rule to drink only non-alcoholic beverages while playing poker. I want my mind to be as clear as possible so I can best observe my opponents and can make the best decisions in my favor.
I “love” to be at a table where my opponents are drinking heavily and paying attention to the basketball game being shown on the wall TV, or engaged in conversation with people not in the game. This gives me an edge over these players.
To the extent the Code of Conduct warns against abusive or threatening language or behavior, it does imply a degree of control of excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages. Rarely have I seen players who are obviously drunk, although I suspect a few may have been on drugs.
On rare occasions, I have observed security staff escorting a person from the casino. Certainly, where large sums of money are involved, it is appropriate to take such precautions.
It makes good sense to require only English be spoken at the gambling table. For one thing, it could preclude the appearance of collusion between players who speak a foreign language to one another. I have observed a few instances when a foreign language was spoken at the table – with no warning from the dealer or floor person. I chose to believe the foreign language discussion was perfectly honest, but I couldn’t be sure.
The days of the Mississippi river boat gambling with skilled cheaters, are long gone. But that doesn’t mean there will be no cheating at the tables. Personally, I have observed “suspicious” behavior that suggested collusion between two players at the table; even an occasion when I thought the dealer was cheating. (Note: These were at other casinos, not at the Hustler Casino, which,I believe takes special efforts to protect its patrons).
Regarding sleeping on casino property, it is not unusual for players to dose off while seated at a table. This is most likely at the wee hours of the morning when the big losers are struggling to win back some of their losses. They should realize they give themselves a big disadvantage over the more alert players.
Morale of the story: Tomorrow is another day!
Meanwhile, by all means, become familiar with the Code of Conduct at your favorite casino.
We invite your comments. Email to IreneEdith@GamingToday.com.