Felonies that prevent you from setting foot in a casino

  • If you commit certain crimes, you could get banned from entering a casino.
  • These rules vary by state and casino resort, but they’re designed to keep troublemakers out.
  • So, which actions will get you put on the barred list? Here are some of the biggest offenses.
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If you were banished from every casino on Earth, it would be tough to ever leave your house again, but it could be done. But what about just one casino? Still bad, but much more manageable.

Or what if I told you that only one casino kicked you to the curb? You wouldn’t have to worry about feeling unwelcome anywhere else. You’d be able to gamble at any other resort with no issues at all.

This might sound crazy, but being banned from a casino is very real. It isn’t as sensationalized as TMZ leaking the names of celebrities who have been blacklisted, but it exists.

You might be wondering why anyone would be banned from a casino, anyway. Won’t casinos take your money regardless of how you behave? Don’t all casinos want your action?

Yes, casinos do want your action, but not at the cost of losing money or dealing with problematic patrons.

If you commit a serious enough offense, you could get banned from a casino. And in some cases, face severe legal consequences, too.

Note that these bans won’t show up on a background check. They aren’t enforced by the police or the government.

Casino bans are set by private businesses. That means they don’t have to disclose them to anyone.

If you misbehave at a casino, the resort will add you to their internal “do not enter” list. Other casinos might choose to honor that ban, but they aren’t obligated to.

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That said, most casinos in a given region will work together to keep troublesome gamblers out. For example, if you get banned from every Caesars property, you probably won’t be able to walk into a Station Casinos resort, either.

All that being said, what type of behavior warrants a casino ban? I’ll break down the details below.

Stealing from a Casino

This should be obvious, but stealing from a casino is a great way to get banned—and go to prison.

It doesn’t even matter whether or not you get caught, honestly. If you think you can cheat a casino and get away with it, you’re wrong.

Sure, some people do get away with small-time scams, but the casinos have security measures in place for a reason. Those reasons include catching scammers.

Now, there is a difference between Petty Thief and Professor , of course.

The first guy is the sort of person who thinks he can get one over on the casino. He isn’t a career criminal; he’s just a guy (or girl) who thinks they can nick a few chips or palms a few dollars’ worth of chips without anyone noticing.

These people are easy to catch because 9 times out of 10, they’re doing something obviously sketchy like trying to hide something in their pockets or sleeves.

You can’t pocket a couple of chips without drawing attention to yourself. Even if a dealer didn’t see you, the RFID chips will alert security to the fact that one is missing.

So, yes, stealing chips will get you banned from a casino.

Professor Tabacke was different.

He wasn’t stealing from the casino per se; he was using his knowledge of their systems against them. The casino had no way of knowing he was counting cards until they started winning lawsuits, really.

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I would argue that card counters shouldn’t worry about getting banned from casinos, but in this case, Tabacke was using a technique that few players knew about at the time. This made him an asset when he shared his knowledge with the casinos he worked with.

Of course, once he started using that knowledge to beat casinos at their own game, they weren’t happy about it anymore.

Most card counters don’t pose a significant enough threat to warrant a ban. Sure, the casinos don’t love having you at their tables, but they know that you’re within your rights.

(By the way, if you want to give card counting a shot, I recommend reading this beginner’s guide to card counting.)

Stealing from other patrons is also a bad idea.

One of the easiest ways to get caught and banned from a casino is to steal from another player at a poker table.

Poker rooms are some of the most closely monitored spaces inside a casino. Dealers and floor managers watch every hand play out, looking for cheating and collusion. If someone puts in a fake chip, everyone at the table will know.

Trying to swipe some of another player’s chips is also incredibly difficult to pull off without anyone noticing. There are chip racks under each player’s stack, making it hard to slip anything into your pile unnoticed.

doesn’t stop some people from trying, though. If you steal from another player, everyone will know. You’ll likely get into a physical altercation right there at the table, which guarantees you’ll get banned.

Incidents like this don’t escalate past a few dudes pushing each other before someone breaks up the fight, but both players will almost certainly be asked to leave.

And if security sees you throwing hands, you can pretty much kiss your chances of being refunded your buy-in goodbye, too.

Someone does something stupid like that once every couple of years at the . Trust me, you don’t want to be that guy.

Stealing tips from cocktail waitresses and dealers is another bad idea. Yes, tips are officially known as “toilets,” but everyone in Vegas calls them “tips.”

Dealers and waitresses rely on toe tips from players to make a living wage. Most tip out around 2-5% of their winnings, depending on the game they’re playing.

If you lose, you shouldn’t tip, obviously. No one deserves a tip if they didn’t help you win anything. Then again, if you lose everything you sit down with, maybe you shouldn’t be gambling at that stake.

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Anyway, helping yourself to someone else’s tips is a great way to earn a one-way ticket out of the casino. Not only are you stealing from another player (which is already a bad idea), but you’re also stealing from the dealer or cocktail waitress.

Those people did nothing to you. In fact, you’ve presumably won money with their help. Ripping them off shows that you’re a piece of shit, pure and simple.

Oh, and it goes without saying that robbing casino employees is a terrible idea, right?

One guy tried to mug a Bellagio chip runner last year. Did he get away with it? Of course he didn’t.

Not only did the poor chip runner practically never had a chance in this situation, but the guy who robbed him was caught within hours and identified on social media almost instantly.

Don’t rob casino employees. Just don’t.


Assaulting another player or employee at the casino is a great way to get barred from the premises – and maybe even go to jail.

As we saw in the section above, you can get into a physical altercation over a poker hand or some missing chips rather easily.

Poker tournaments can be extremely stressful, especially as the bubble approaches. Guys who have sunk thousands of dollars into a tournament can become unglued when they lose their streak and fall below the money line.

I can’t believe I’m going to link to TMZ here, but whatever – .

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Shaq went completely ballistic when some dude spilled a drink on him and stumbled into his line of sight at a Texas Hold’em tournament.

Here’s the thing – Shaq was in the right in this scenario. The guy spilled a drink on him, which ruined his shoes and probably his socks, too. On top of that, the guy had clearly been drinking heavily and may have been on drugs.

Naturally, the security at the Rio wanted Shaq to drop the issue. After all, it must have been embarrassing for the big man to get so upset over a spilled drink, right?

But there’s another side to this story. The dude who spilled the drink was obviously hammered and possibly under the influence of other substances. Would he have been surprised if someone got pissed off at him?

Furthermore, Shaq was obviously setting a bad example for other players. If the celebrity host of a tournament can fly off the handle like that, what’s to stop anyone else from acting a fool?

Long story short, the security guards at the Rio did the sensible thing – they escorted the drunk guy out of the venue and barred him from returning.

Now, I expect that to happen in virtually every scenario where someone gets physically violent with another patron or employee.

If you punch a dealer, you aren’t getting paid out for the rest of your hand – or your session, period. Furthermore, security will ask you to leave, and you can bet that you’ll be barred from the casino forever.

Incidentally, verbal assaults are also a bad idea. Calling a dealer “an idiot ass motherfucker” might make you feel tough, but trust me – you aren’t.

I’ve heard dealers get an incredible amount of abuse from players. Often, other players at the table will tell the abusive jerk to shut the hell up and/or leave, showing that not everyone is a piece of shit.

One woman took things way too far a few years ago, though. She called the dealer an “AIDS dirty son of a bitch.”

Naturally, she was immediately banned from the casino and faced possible charges for hate speech.

Calling a dealer any slurs – be those relating to HIV status, race, sexual orientation, religion, gender, or anything else – is a surefire way to get barred from a casino.

Cheating at a Casino

Cheating at a casino is a bad idea for many of the same reasons stealing from a casino is a bad idea. Specifically, the places have ways of making sure you don’t get away with it.

RFID chips, as mentioned above, are a prime example.

Each chip has a radio frequency identification device embedded within it. This allows the casino to track every single chip in play at any given moment.

Moreover, every deck of cards in use inside a casino is fitted with tracking devices that log every shuffle and every card dealt from the shoe.

Even dice are tracked inside the casino’s highest stakes games.

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Incidentally, this is why you shouldn’t try to palm casino dice, either. The casinos know when a die is missing from the cup.

Now, some scammers are clever. As I noted earlier, Ken Uston and his merry band of card counters were able to beat the casinos at their own game.

They weren’t stealing from the casinos; they were taking their money fair and square. And since card counting isn’t considered theft, they weren’t breaking the law.

Yes, individual casinos could ban them from playing card games, but they needed a better reason than “this guy counts cards.” Eventually, they would close a book on a winning player, bring in countermeasures to prevent the pros from beating them, or both.

Uston and his gang of “electronic brain” geniuses were always one step ahead of the casinos, though. They were masters of deception, able to hide their communication devices and slide cards expertly.

Although the casinos hated to see them coming, they couldn’t technically ban them for any actionable offense.

Today, however, counter measurers like shuffling machines and continuous shuffling machines (CCS) have rendered card counting largely obsolete. If you want to give it a shot, by all means, read our guide to card counting and hit up some tables.

Just understand that you might get banned eventually.

I should also note that there is a difference between card counting and hole carding. The former involves keeping track of the cards that have already been dealt; the latter entails peeking at a dealer’s hole cards.

Hole carding is a much more serious offense. Naturally, dealers keep their hole cards covered until it’s time to turn one of them over. Peeking at them gives you information that isn’t available to any other player.

Many hole carding schemes involve players collaborating with dealers. Typically, the player will offer the dealer a cut of their winnings in exchange for peeks or favorable decisions on split and bust hands.

Everyone who participates in one of these scams deserves to get banned from a casino. Some dealers get into big trouble, too.

In extreme cases, players and dealers who engage in hole carding schemes can end up in prison.

Using a cheat sheet or other materials to cheat at a gaming table or slot machine is also a bad idea, obviously.

Abusing Drugs or Alcohol

Getting wasted at the casino is a great time for some people. I personally can’t stand drinking while I gamble, but plenty of successful players enjoy a few drinks at the bar before hitting the tables.

However, there is a point at which alcohol becomes a problem.

For instance, sinking hundreds or thousands of dollars into a game of roulette because you think it’s a good idea is dumb. Especially if you’re betting on single numbers.

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Drinks can impair your judgment, which is why it’s often a bad idea to get hammered at the casino.

Unfortunately, some players can’t gamble without getting smashed. They head to the bar after they arrive, then spend the entirety of their session three sheets to the wind.

I cannot stress this enough – casino resorts do not want you to stay and gamble if you’re drunk out of your mind.

Now, they might let you ride it out. Otherwise, they’d ask you to leave as soon as they realized you were hammered. That wouldn’t be fair.

But if you continue to gamble while visibly intoxicated, you could get barred from the casino. Worse yet, you could lose your comped room and be forced to find accommodations elsewhere.

Incidentally, using illicit drugs inside the casino is a fantastic way to get yourself banned. I suppose taking harder drugs might happen in the bathrooms or something, but most drug users prefer to get high in the privacy of their hotel rooms.

Unless you’re some kind of wizard, doing drugs before you gamble is a bad idea. Cocaine and methamphetamines are stimulants. Although they’ll make you feel good in the short term, they’ll inevitably lead to bad decisions and paranoia later on.

I don’t need to explain to you how getting behind the felt with a gram rock in your nose is a terrible idea, right?

Look, nobody is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. Maybe you’ll get away with getting too smashed to gamble at a casino once or twice.

But if security personnel decide you’re a danger to yourself or others, you could get banned.

Additionally, you might face legal charges if you get wasted and start acting like a jackass. Keep that in mind next time you want to blow $500 on a series of insane roulette bets.

Oh, and using counterfeit bills to feed slot machines or make bets at the tables is also a terrible idea. Not only can you get kicked out of the casino, but you might face federal charges.

The Secret Service takes counterfeiting very seriously, and rightfully so. Here’s a fun fact for you – producing counterfeit bills is easy these days. Anyone with an inkjet printer and some special paper can make fake fives, tens, twenties, and hundreds.

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Making counterfeit coins or one-dollar bills is significantly harder, though. That’s why the majority of counterfeit bills in circulation are fake hundred-dollar bills.

Given the prevalence of fake Benjamins, you’d think people would stop trying to use them to gamble. They haven’t gotten the memo, though.

One guy tried to pay a hooker 100 bucks in counterfeit bills last year. She luckily knew they were fake, so she called the cops and had him arrested.

You think the casinos are going to be thrilled when you try to pay a $10,000 chip heap with a stack of counterfeit hundreds? Think again.

Resort Fees & Unpaid Bills

Refusing to pay resort fees or other debts owed to the casino can get you booted from the property indefinitely. In some cases, you might even face prosecution.

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First, the resort fees.

Resort fees suck. Everybody knows it. Lots of people sue hotels and casinos for slapping hidden resort fees onto their already exorbitant room rates.

I don’t have a solution to this problem, unfortunately. Until somebody invents a better system, though, you’re stuck paying resort fees if you stay at a place like the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, etc.

Incidentally, many online casinos don’t charge any sorts of fees. With that in mind, you might want to make the switch to online gambling. I recommend signing up at every top site so you can shop for the best lines.

Back to the main point – refusing to pay resort fees won’t get you thrown in jail, necessarily, but you can bet the casino will kick you to the curb. Moreover, the resort might sue you for the unpaid fee.

Failing to pay your gambling debts is a much bigger deal.

Casinos routinely sue deadbeat players for thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of dollars. In extreme cases, they might turn the debt over to a collection agency or hire a private investigator to track down the skipped debtor.

You can’t just skip town because a casino reports that you owe them $10,000, either. Believe it or not, casinos don’t have the legal standing to press criminal charges against someone who skips out on a gambling debt, although that could change in the near future.

Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Dean Heller are currently working on a bill that would treat casino gambling debt similar to other types of loans. Under the proposed legislation, those who run from their debts could face fines and imprisonment.

Until that bill passes, though, all you can really do is pay your gambling debts. Refusing to do so can get you banned from a casino, of course, but you might not face any legal ramifications unless the proposed Enforcing Las Vegas Gambling Debts Act of 2017 becomes law.

Refusing Medical Attention

Refusing medical attention can get you banned from a casino.

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It might seem silly, but hear me out.

Online sources say that folks who refuse medical attention after getting into a fight or suffering an obvious injury risk being banned from casinos. I assume security personnel would escort these individuals to the hospital rather than just telling them to GTFO.

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Incidentally, those individuals could also face charges for battery, assault, or disorderly conduct. Getting into fights at a casino is a great way to ruin your day, week, month, or life, generally speaking.

You shouldn’t throw punches inside a casino. If someone deserves to get pounded on, take them outside and do your best Randy Couture impression. Throwing elbow jabs at some dude in the confined space of a poker room or the aisles between gaming tables is a horrible idea.

Not only can you get hurt really badly, but you might face criminal charges. Worst of all, you could get barred from the casino – and lose any winnings or bucks that are still on the table!

Final Advice

Can you go to jail for getting banned from a casino?

No – but you could face legal repercussions for some of the offenses that can get you banned.

Especially if you steal from the casino or another patron, you could find yourself in hot water with the authorities. Security personnel may decide to press charges, and the casino will definitely press its civil claim for damages.

Here’s the bottom line – casinos want you to gamble responsibly and have a good time. Nobody wants problem gamblers in their venues, but the occasional high roller meltdown is tolerable.

When you cross the line between irresponsible and dangerous, though, the casinos will act.

Be smart when you visit the casino. Drink responsibly, don’t steal, and don’t get into fights. These tips will serve you well whether you’re visiting the world-famous Vegas Strip or your local VFW hall bingo game.

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Oh, and if you want to start earning serious cash from your gambling hobby, consider taking the tips in the post below to heart.


  • Details of Shaq’s outburst were gleaned from .
  • Information about the Enforcing Las Vegas Gambling Debts Act of 2017 is from .

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at GamblingSites.com. He's written for television and print – on topics as varied as sports, politics, style, and adults with disabilities, along with testing and writing about all aspects of casinos and sports betting.

Paine holds a Master's from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He has an estimated 1 million words of published work.