As you've seen in some movies, casinos normally have coverage of everything -- sometimes by law. Lots of money flow in and out of casinos on a daily basis, so they need all sorts of cameras and sensors to make sure nothing is out of place when they start counting cash. You can ask me stuff about policies with card counting, player monitoring, camera installation, why I quit, etc.


Edit: Thanks for all the shown interest. I hope I've enlightened you all on the inner-workings of all those tiny little domes above you when you're doubling down.

Comments: 1868 • Responses: 25  • Date: 

BorkaBorkaBorka586 karma

I work on the floor as a dealer. Do you ever pick up on mistakes we make and decide you can't be bothered calling down to fix it? Like of we accidentally took a winning bet or gave out a few bucks too many?

konceptklear754 karma

Good question.

Normally the personnel (I was a technician, so I wasn't one of those dedicated people) have some sort of uber hawk-eye power that they notice when you don't award winnings as small as 50 cents. Yeah I don't get it either. Normally, no matter what happened, we always called down to the pit manager and advised on what happened and then at that point usually they'd let the player know and advise the dealer on what happened. If the incident was resolved, it may or may not be noted against the dealer.

If the mistake costs the casino money and the player walked out before the correct funds could be collected, the incident would be put on record for that particular dealer. Not that it made much of a difference, though. Most experienced dealers had something like 50+ mistakes over the course of 10 years or something like that. In the end, we're all human.

orevilo540 karma

So, What kind of vacuum do you have?

konceptklear122 karma

You know what? It was actually some really really really old floor vac that we used as a shop vac. It actually broke when I was hired because they made me use it so much (being the new noob).

We ended up getting an "electronics-safe" GE hand-held shop vac to replace it. It used Lith-ion drill batteries to operate.

excessivelyobscure406 karma

Is facial recognition used at all?

konceptklear570 karma

The short answer: Kinda.

Is it used while someone is gaming randomly? No. It's used when someone previously suspected of counting/advantage/cheating arrives. Usually their face is in a database from another property.

Fabien4262 karma

Usually their face is in a database from another property.

I assume you share data between casinos that are owned by the same company. But, do you also share such data between companies?

konceptklear360 karma

Yes and yes. Usually only other casinos/companies in the same region. If the player has a criminal background and has been known to travel to your area, then sometimes the information is shared from quite a distance.

EternalHell403 karma

What was the most you ever saw someone win? What were they playing and how did they react?

konceptklear1251 karma

There was an elderly couple that liked to travel a lot. They usually made a yearly round to our casino/hotel because of the resort/spa area. They never gambled, that we knew of.

This particular time, however, the old man had $5 in his pocket and decided to play a slot. That particular slot happened to be on the Wheel-Of-Fortune national progressive slots. He rolled twice and won all $2.4 million + some change.

BorkaBorkaBorka397 karma

I've heard surveillance members are never allowed back onto the gaming floor because of blind spots in the camera set-up you learn about. Is this true?

konceptklear501 karma

Good question.

When I quit, I learned I was not allowed back on property for a maximum of 6 months, unless otherwise noted. We didn't have blind-spots. I know because I've seen every camera's shot.

You could literally get away with nothing, unless the action had audio. We rarely recorded audio.

Is that true for other casinos/companies? Maybe. Definitely wasn't true for the casino I worked at, though.

jamberie344 karma

Have you ever seen any extreme reactions to someone loosing / winning a vast amount of money?

konceptklear894 karma

I've seen elderly people literally fall over and die from heart attacks from winning $30K+

I've also seen grown men cry from losing continuously at dollar slots.

JK4711262 karma

where do those winnings go?

konceptklear671 karma

In that particular case, the casino was nice enough to let next-of-kin have the winnings.

Jon791238 karma

This may just be in the movies but what do I know, I've only been in a casino 3 times in my life... Do some casinos beat the shit out of cheaters or card counters or what's their punishment? Also why did you quit?

konceptklear382 karma

No, since most casinos are strictly governed by either gaming commissions or state/regional committees, it'd be very hard for them to get away with beating someone over the head for counting cards.

Getting beat by other players that lost because of the cheating is an entirely different story. ;)

I quit because there was no chain of command in place for me to follow without stepping on someone's toes, and as a result, when shit hit the fan, I had no one to go to and and things like that kept piling up.

It got to a point where I was about to be fired for something that could have been avoided had I had a co-worker on the same level to assist me/understand the situation, I ended up resigning to avoid it looking bad for me.

ekjp222 karma

How much money does the typical casino spend on surveillance?

konceptklear359 karma

Well, most casinos are still using non-digital recording tech, believe it or not. Some of those systems were state-of-the-art in like 1980.

Luckily I worked somewhere where all recording was digital and stored on servers, but that also made everything hell-aciously expensive.

I'd say ours was worth somewhere in the $10-20 Million range, with over 3000 cameras on property and enough video storage capacity to record the entire lives of 100 people easily.

DarkDog81204 karma

Sounds like a pretty interesting job seeing how things work behind the scenes. How often do you encounter people trying to cheat the games? What is the game you saw this sort of thing on the most? I imagine blackjack, but what do I know.

Any cool stories of things that went down? Finally, They aren't watching me when I pee are they? (I shake a third time to be sure!)

konceptklear334 karma

Most casinos that are state and region-regulated won't allow cameras in personal areas (Hotel rooms, bathrooms, etc).

Blackjack and card-counting go hand in hand (as you know), and that's usually the most action anyone in surveillance is concerned about. They're usually labeled as "Advantage players" and if they're not blatantly counting, they still get tabs put on themselves for winning a lot of money every time they visit the tables. Usually the people actually watching the monitors are former dealers and etc and also know how to count cards themselves, so they can counter-count (contradicting?) and try to spot a method/pattern.

The only actual cheating I ever witnessed live was someone using their phone during a Hold 'Em game. The only reason they almost got away with it was because they would only look down through shades and type things in without looking down continuously. I wouldn't recommend trying it.

I once saw some coverage of a guy walking through one of the mid-floors in the hotel area at about 5-6am wearing nothing but bubble-wrap around his waist. He kinda drunkenly walked up to a low-hanging dome camera, tore it out of the ceiling, and stumbled away like nothing happened.

crimsonred36130 karma

Is there an amount of winnings after which a person starts getting "watched" playing Blackjack?

konceptklear189 karma

I don't know if I can give an exact amount, but it would be more than $15K per sit-down. In blackjack, that's a lot.

edit: Though, if they do it once or twice and then never again for a while, they won't be watched every time they get to a table. Most of the time the amount and player is noted and then isn't looked at until it happens again.

OddEnchilada192 karma

What is the most common thing you have to throw people out for?

konceptklear316 karma

Drunk & Disorderly. Kinda the casino's fault though. A lot of the popular video-poker areas are literally built into the bar, right next to the bartender and the alcohol.

fb0mbb151 karma

Although i'm sure they're very far fetched and dramatized, how much truth are in films like 21, Oceans 11 and Runner, Runner?

Is it even possible to trick the system like that?

konceptklear241 karma

Card counting is real. I'm sure there are tons of people that get away with it.

However, robbing a casino blind with thousands of people around? Not even close. At least, not when you have a surveillance team that works uninterrupted for 24 hours a day. The system has backup power and backup power for the backup power. I never remember the lights going out and us losing coverage of anything.

edit: grammar

zookoala142 karma

I've seen postings for our casinos for video surveillance operators. Would you recommend this position? Could this position lead to others in security?

konceptklear200 karma

It's a great position -- just be sure to have experience with table games prior to applying. They're gonna want people that know how to watch games, and very few offer a lot of training. Mostly, they look for ex-dealers.

konceptklear132 karma

I apologize for not answering questions sooner. I passed out at the desk about 8 hours ago.

I have keyboard face. :(

excessivelyobscure122 karma

How long are video recordings kept?

konceptklear169 karma

My state's law requires all cameras, gaming, non-gaming, or otherwise, have a minimum of 14 days coverage stored back.

excessivelyobscure68 karma

What quality is it stored in? That's a lot of data.

konceptklear171 karma

Normally anywhere from Standard 4:3 @ 480p, 60fps to 720p hi-def. My particular workplace had over 3000 cameras continuously recording at any given time. There was a LOT of space needed for it. Most of the data pools were 36TB in single-unit capacity.

Foye121 karma

How much have you seen someone lose in one sitting?

konceptklear238 karma

$151,600 on roulette. He was a veteran member of the casino and was probably loaded to begin with.

chieflong94 karma

Besides the elderly couple winning 2.4 million, what's the biggest amount someone has won while you were there?

konceptklear167 karma

I was there when the $2.4 Million was won, but alas it was only through a surveillance monitor.

Walking through the gaming floor, though, I've personally witnessed several smaller jackpots. $14K, $130K, $29K, etc.

SwissBliss75 karma

Whats the craziest thing you've seen?

konceptklear128 karma

I once saw some coverage of a guy walking through one of the mid-floors in the hotel area at about 5-6am wearing nothing but bubble-wrap around his waist. He kinda drunkenly walked up to a low-hanging dome camera, tore it out of the ceiling, and stumbled away like nothing happened.

bananashi68 karma

Are there really cameras everywhere? Bathrooms and bedrooms too? How many cameras were there in your casino and how many people does it take to monitor everything?

konceptklear124 karma

By law, there were no cameras in any bathrooms or bedrooms. That also goes for 99% of all casinos.

I can't give you an exact number of people that monitored the cameras (it's in the single digits), but there were 3000+ cameras on property. You wouldn't flare your nostrils on the gaming floor without a camera seeing it.

Jurph64 karma

Your ID looks a little cock-eyed.

konceptklear11 karma

Hohohoho I see what you did there.

konceptklear63 karma

Nothing that brutal, no. There was never any blatant cheating going on. That's usually just movie stuff.

Every now and then, though, someone does something (usually unknowingly) that might be considered cheating and they get scared because by law we have to call the gaming commission to investigate them. (The gaming commission is a department of the state police here.)

Chahles8834 karma


konceptklear31 karma

You'd be surprised how much we catch other employees trying to run an underground operation for money.