I just heard (from a skilled gambler who shall remain nameless) that a friend of his saw a well-known “promotion scrambler” get handcuffed and taken in the back at the 4 Queens casino sometime last month. “He was working several peoples’ cards on their promotion–the same promotion that you wrote about in your blog. Evidently he was paying people to use their cards.”
This report does not surprise me. There is a small number of players who not only feel that “all is fair in love and war” but in casinos too. And juicy promotions can bring out the greed big time. A big slot club signing bonus going on? Gather up some of the homeless and bring them to the casinos – pay them a little bit and take the biggest chunk of the bonus for yourself. A big check-cashing bonus promotion going on? Get your non-player friends to cash their paychecks at that casino and “buy” the valuable bonus coupon they get.
I have been writing about ethics and gambling ever since I had a whole chapter subtitled “Strange Bedfellows” on that subject back in my first book, The Frugal Gambler. Here’s what I wrote in the section called “The Casino as a War Zone”: “After I’d been gambling for awhile, I realized that very little in a casino is black and white, ethically speaking. Going into a casino is kind of like entering a war zone. It’s you against the house, and it starts to seem like the house has a license to steal. So if you get a chance to steal something back, you rationalize that it’s only fair. When I started thinking that way, I knew I had to formulate my code of casino ethics. I’m not going to tell you what that entire code is, because it’s a personal thing. You’ll have to come up with you own code if you intend to ‘fight’ in this battle zone.”
I went on to say that my code is always being tested — and that is still true today because gambling ethical issues are still in a large gray area. But I must warn you that casinos ARE taking measures to ferret out those that they feel are abusing the system.