Counting cards is a legal activity. There are no federal or state laws stating that card counters are committing an offense. Police officers cannot arrest you for counting cards at a casino, nor can they convict you of any crimes. Before you hit the Las Vegas Strip and try your hand at counting cards, however, realize there are several ways card counting can land you in jail.
- Casino Trespassing:
While the police cannot detain you for the act of counting cards, they can make an arrest on the grounds of trespassing. Casinos are technically private property, and casino patrons must respect house rules. Many casinos have high-tech cameras and security measures in place to detect and prevent card counting, since this act takes money the casino could otherwise win. If a security guard has reason to believe a patron is counting cards, the guard can ask a patron to leave the table, stop playing that particular game, or leave the casino.
Most casinos ask card counters to leave the property once discovered. Casino security guards may hassle you into leaving the table, ask you to back off a game for a time, or bar you from the casino entirely. If a casino bars you, you may not return. If you return anyway, you can face trespass charges.
- Using Electronics or Machines to Count Cards:
While the law doesn’t say anything about restricting the use of intellectual means to count cards, it does have a provision against using electronic and mechanical means. This type of card counting constitutes cheating, since you’re gaining an unfair edge over the other players at the table. It’s your prerogative to use your brain to count cards as a natural advantage, but once you use other means, the police can arrest you.
- Non-mechanical Cheating:
This brings us to cheating by non-mechanical/electrical means during a card game. In Nevada, gambling control authorities prohibit cheating in casinos. Cheating during a card game is an arrestable offense. Using your intellect to count cards can help you win but does not change the game, and is therefore not technically considered cheating. If you cheat, altering the outcome of the game by switching cards with other players or adding cards to the deck, a casino can arrest you.
- Physically Assaulting Casino Employees:
If a casino employee admonishes or detains you for counting cards, you’ll probably be angry, frustrated, or embarrassed. Odds are, you’ve been drinking, and now the casino has barred you from playing your favorite game of the night. Many people accused of counting cards make the mistake of pushing or touching security guards or other casino employees. The casino can then have you arrested on grounds of physical assault or harassment.
- Disorderly Conduct:
Casinos do not need a reason to ask you to leave. They can ask any patron to leave at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all. If you refuse to leave and begin acting belligerent, aggressive, or just plain rude, casinos can have you arrested for disorderly conduct. The best thing to do if you’re asked to leave is to apologize, leave the casino, and lay low for a while. If the casino took your picture while detaining you, they will have your face on file and will share it with sister casinos.
If you need criminal defense lawyers in Las Vegas because of casino charges, contact De Castroverde Law Group for expert help. We can come to your defense if you’re arrested for false ID, assault, battery, theft, disorderly conduct, trespassing, and more. Call us today for a free consultation at (702) 222-9999.