When you think about it, there isn’t really any logical reason why a casino would need to treat. By its nature, casino gaming in general is weighted in favour of the house. Even when the house edge is razor thin, it still exists – ultimately meaning that the house always wins with time. 

This is why the world’s biggest and most reputable casino businesses are also spectacularly lucrative money-makers. They provide customers with the opportunity to win prizes, though in all instances with the caveat of an inescapable house edge. 

From Blackjack to Craps to all types of online slots, play for long enough and you’ll put good money straight into the pockets of the casino.

But does this mean that cheating on the part of the casino is completely out of the question? Most casinos (online and in the real world) work hard to build positive reputations, but are there some that nonetheless resort to cheating?

The short answer is yes, though you have to look pretty hard these days to find a genuinely dodgy dealer.

Illegal and Unregulated Casinos

While there’s much to be said for shopping local and supporting the economy in your area, staying safe when gambling should always be your priority.

As far as the biggest and most successful casinos in the business go, the likelihood of ever being cheated outright is practically zero. What’s important to remember is that if even a single customer was able to prove that a casino cheated them, it’d be their undoing. Irrespective of how successful they’ve been to date, their reputation would be torn to shreds and they’d lose millions in potential earnings.

A risk that really isn’t worth taking, simply for cheating the odd customer out of £100 here and there.

In addition, the fact that licensed and regulated casinos are so heavily scrutinised makes it impossible for them to get away with this kind of behaviour. Mystery customers, unannounced audits and continuous monitoring for regulators – all piling pressure on casinos to keep things safe and amicable.

It’s not uncommon for dice and decks of cards to be replaced as frequently as once per hour, just to be sure that the outcome is always 100% random.

Nevertheless, things aren’t quite the same when it comes to unlicensed and unregulated casinos. Where a casino operates without a licence and isn’t appropriately regulated, it’s operating illegally. It should therefore come as no surprise to learn that these are also the casinos where you’re also more likely to be cheated.

Spotting the Signs of a Shady Operation

The good news in all of the above is that spotting a dodgy casino isn’t particularly difficult. If it’s doing things by the book, it’ll be more or less obvious from the get-go. 

For example, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a casino operating in a shady backstreet environment in a rundown building that’s falling apart at the seams probably isn’t a reputable establishment. Likewise, casinos that hide what’s going on from the outside world are also to be avoided – i.e. those hidden away with no signage, no website and no contact information.

In addition, the overwhelming majority of casinos ask new customers to provide ID and to sign up for a membership, prior to getting started. If nothing else, there are usually at least a few formalities to take care of, before you’re able to hit the casino floor. The sketchier the casino, the more likely they are to wave all such formalities and encourage you to spend your money.

The professionalism of the staff and the dealers at the tables should also be a dead giveaway. As should the presence of other gamblers – the real kind, not stooges simply hanging around to make the place look legit.

If in doubt, feel free to ask the casino directly for verification of its licencing and legal status. If they’ve nothing to hide, they’ll be delighted to put your mind at rest and provide you with all the information you need.

What Kind of Cheating Takes Place in Questionable Casinos?

The tactics used by questionable casino operators vary from the subtle to the simply ludicrous. Given that they’re not exactly following the rules where licensing and regulation are concerned, they’re usually quite shameless in their attempts to cheat their customers.

For example, you may find that loaded dice are occasionally throw into the mix at the craps table, making it impossible to win. Stacked decks at the blackjack table are also commonplace in shady casino environments. Then there are the classic ‘weighted’ roulette wheels, which rather than guaranteeing a specific outcome simply elevate your likelihood of losing. 

With enough practice, anyone can build the skills needed to pull off these kinds of hustles in a surprisingly slick way. To such an extent that by the time you realise you’ve been cheated, they’ve done away with the dodgy dice and you haven’t a leg to stand on.

The Easy Way to Stay Safe

Irrespective of when and where you intend to hit the casino for a few flutters, the overriding point remains the same:

Never enter a casino without first carrying out a few background checks.

These days, doing so is as easy as pulling out your smartphone and looking it up online. If it’s an established, reputable and safe casino to do business with, you’ll find all the positive feedback you need online. If it’s quite the opposite or you cannot find any record of the casino’s existence online, it’s probably better to take your money elsewhere.

In the unlikely event that you do encounter a questionable casino, it’s your responsibility to ensure it’s brought to the attention of the appropriate authorities in your area. Otherwise, you’re as guilty as anyone else next time someone unwittingly wanders through their door and leaves with empty pockets.

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