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Cheating in casinos: "Employees make up 25% of arrests”

Cheating in casinos, especially in one of the most high-profile gambling centres in the world, Nevada, remains rife.

Whether it’s an inside job, a ‘grab and run’, or something a little more sophisticated, individuals have attempted to cheat the system ever since casinos were first invented.

At the ICE VOX Conference, James Taylor, Chief of the Nevada Gaming Control Boards’ Enforcement Division, gave his thoughts on casino cheats, and how he and his team are combatting them.

Taylor commented: “Nuisance crimes, casino cheats, employee crimes and organised crime. These are the different types of cheats you’ll find. There are people across the world whose whole lives are dedicated to cheating in casinos. They do not stop.

“Many machines have glitches that are not found during development. Cheaters will find these glitches.”

One key reason, insiders believe, there are so many attempts to cheat casinos, other than the large sums of money held, is casinos are seen as cold, faceless operations, which won’t miss a small amount of cash.

Over the years, cheats have developed card-counting machines, light optic devices and the ‘Nikrasch device’, a set of magnets and locksmith tools Dennis Nikrasch used to steal $16m from slot machines over a 22-year period.

At the Enforcement Division, Taylor leads a team of 90, tasked with not only catching gambling cheats after the event, but proactively stopping them beforehand.

He continued: “We have around 500 arrests per year, 25% of these are employees. These problems are often caused by addiction, money problems, among other things.”

Each year, casinos in Nevada continue to lose millions to cheats, with conspiracy among internal employees clearly an issue. Add organised crime groups into the mix and it’s no wonder officials such as Taylor still have a tough job on their hands.


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