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Old 06-01-2021, 11:39 PM   #1
Jkpoker10
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Casino employees playing cash

I have a good one for you. Is it unethical to allow casino employees (poker) play cash games? I played in Vegas and a tourny director was splashing around in cash games like a maniac during a 1/3 session. Again, Iím not sure but i feel most places in the northeast- employees canít play at the casino they work at.

This person, I saw her the next day running the tournament and was kinda amazed bc Iíve never heard of poker employees being able to play in home casino they work at. I found out later even dealers can play the tournaments at said casino (not going to state location but you can probably guess from my posts).

This person was great for the game though. I felt as they were splashing super hard like straddling etc and even raising pure trash hands. It was kinda funny bc I felt the dealers were dealing super fast for a 1/3 game (which was awesome) but Iím sure they wanted to look like they were doing a good job in front of someone that is higher up. Not complaining btw but said person told me I should play another game bc I might be a pro (Iím not) and I was wearing a nice watch lmao. I tried to tell said person I was just a fun player and I tagged along in the straddling which led to me punting but whatever. Would like to hear what others think of this.
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Old 06-01-2021, 11:48 PM   #2
dinesh
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

In many northeastern states, you are correct, gaming laws restrict employees (not just poker, but any casino employee) from gambling (again, not just poker, any gambling) at their own casino.

In Vegas at least, employees are permitted to play. At Bellagio, I have seen dealers take an EO so they can sit in a juicy game. As long as you don't get any hint of favoritism in rulings, players are generally OK with it.

In other states, props and other employee/players also exist, though that is sorta a different beast.

Is it unethical? Again, as long as no one is showing favoritism, I don't see why it would be.

Is it smart? Sucking out and winning a pot from the guy you're going to be pushing a pot to tomorrow seems like it might be at least a little risky from a future tipping point of view, but to each his own.
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Old 06-01-2021, 11:52 PM   #3
DaveC95818
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

Two Schools of Thought:
1. If you and everyone knows that the person is a casino employee, what is the harm? Its no different that a Prop Player, or even a Shill.
2. You do a slow burn because you are a customer and keep getting Rivered and Four-outed by some dizzy broad who's also the tournament director. Is she even playing with her own money, or some employees bank? And your buddy who is next on the list for the 1-3 game has to remain on the waitlist because a casino employee is taking up his spot.

Which one did you feel hits more home? There is a cardroom in my area I just don't even go to anymore because they use too many props. I can drive another 15 minutes and get into a game because they will pull out the prop when a player arrives.
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Old 06-02-2021, 12:13 AM   #4
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

It is allowed in Nevada and a few other places. Before I was a dealer I used to look for off duty dealers/supervisors at games because they were usually bad players. I do keep an eye out for shenanigans but if none are seen I'm ok with them being at the table.

Is it a good idea? Not in my opinion, especially for supervisors. Is the dealer going to make a judgement call that goes against their boss? Or call them out on their bad behavior when they've had a few drinks? What about when their fellow employee is at the table? Even if everyone is on their best behavior it's easy for another player to think they see favoritism and report it or decide not to play there any more.
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Old 06-02-2021, 01:28 AM   #5
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

I am conflicted on this issue. I can relate to casino employees who love gambling or poker and want to be able to play at the property where they were. I also hate the look of impropriety, favoritism, etc.

But I'm surprised to hear the Vegas casinos don't ban employees from playing, just to look more professional. 15 or so years ago someone playing poker at the Mirage told me he was a Bellagio employee (in business/accounting, not customer facing) and consequently was no longer allowed to play poker at the Bellagio. Has that rule changed since then?
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Old 06-02-2021, 02:08 AM   #6
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

Dealers are juicy spew stations so yes please
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Old 06-02-2021, 06:24 AM   #7
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

They can't play here in Sydney, which given some of the analysis I've heard from dealers at the table makes me quite sad. Players think "I can play so dealing would be easy" and dealers vice versa. 2+2 posters excepted of course.
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Old 06-02-2021, 07:10 AM   #8
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

I have heard of a casino in South Korea where the casino poker dealer actually deals themselves into the hand and plays the hand with there own stack that is kept separate from the casino stack! The ‘dealer’ button moves around like usual and the dealer slots in to their position as all other players do.

This concept mainly exists to make up enough numbers to get a game going, say for example to get the game from five handed to six handed. Once numbers grow, the dealer can no longer play.
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Old 06-02-2021, 09:17 AM   #9
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

I’ve seen dealers play in the North East. I personally don’t have a problem with it but probably wouldn’t do it myself as a dealer.

Don’t s*** where you eat.
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:34 AM   #10
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

In Michigan the Tribal casinos can set up their own rules .. and they vary .. but most any employee can play slots but can't play anything they are licensed to deal.

In our area most of the Dealers that were hired at the casino were already well known to all the Players via either work or play (and typically both) at the charity rooms. So it really wasn't a big deal for them to sit down at the casino poker tables once it was allowed.

During both day and 'over-night' shifts sometimes the Dealers playing saved the games. The Dealer would get 'sent home' and then go move their car from employee lot to player lot and they were allowed to play.

Prior to allowing the Dealers to play they were just going to the competing casino anyway .. so why not collect rake from your own people?

Now a Floor/TD playing is a whole different story and I can't really see how this wouldn't be a can of worms .. eventually. Even with the right relationship/personality 'something' would come up and cause, at a minimum, chatter in the poker community. You suck out on a Floor one day and then they rule 'against' you the next .. and so on.


I'm not really sure where ethics comes in completely. While the assumption is that Dealers 'should' have the inside scoop on how each Player plays I've rarely seen this as any different than a Reg putting in the same hours. I've also seen Dealers play the worst brands of poker, but again, is it any different than what a Reg 'should' pick up on?

Even if the Dealer was a casino Shill part time and a Dealer other times I'm really not seeing an ethical issue. Certainly it needs to be 'legal' but I see much more 'bad' that can go the Dealer's way than what a Player would perceive to go through. GL
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Old 06-02-2021, 12:25 PM   #11
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

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Originally Posted by mrmr View Post
But I'm surprised to hear the Vegas casinos don't ban employees from playing, just to look more professional. 15 or so years ago someone playing poker at the Mirage told me he was a Bellagio employee (in business/accounting, not customer facing) and consequently was no longer allowed to play poker at the Bellagio. Has that rule changed since then?
They might actually prohibit people in management from playing in the casino while other employees are allowed to.

Bellagio dealers playing in cash games has been pretty common in the past, not sure if it's still allowed. The only time ever that the floor had to resolve a situation between myself and a dealer, I got a favorable ruling that I thought was at least questionable. Felt a little bit awkward at first when he dealt to me the next day.
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Old 06-02-2021, 05:38 PM   #12
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

A couple of thoughts from a former dealer who used to play where I worked:

-Dealers are often terrible and having them in the game is great. They watch terrible players win hands all day, and assume that they can do the same.
-At my room we could play on the clock for minimum wage. This ran the risk of being called back to work.
-In practice it’s very rare for a player to complain as long as they know you’re playing your own money.
-Actually the tips I got in the games I played went UP because they saw me as “equal” rather than as “an employee”

However, after a time I did stop playing at the casino for these reasons:
-Awkwardness of having to tip more to my fellow employees. I thought I was a good tipper but there were rumors that I was “cheap”
-After I started playing in the game, I started liking the players. I felt obliged in certain spots to check down hands I should be betting.
-Some players DO MIND and they will oftentimes make it known that they mind

Last edited by checkraisdraw; 06-02-2021 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 06-02-2021, 06:18 PM   #13
Darth Sagebrush
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

It seems normal in the western (Pacific and Mountain) states for this to be allowed. In CA and (I think) AZ off-duty staff are still required to wear there employee badges when playing on their own time. In NV they are not.

This is a completely different situation from props, whose job is literally playing poker. They are paid a wage to do so, but gamble with their own funds (not the house's.)
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Old 06-02-2021, 06:49 PM   #14
checkraisdraw
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

That's not true for California in the places that I play.
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Old 06-02-2021, 10:39 PM   #15
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

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Originally Posted by Darth Sagebrush View Post
In CA and (I think) AZ off-duty staff are still required to wear there employee badges when playing on their own time.
Are you sure they are not props? This is not true for the rooms around here (Bay Area). Dealers can play without identifying themselves.

California is bad to generalize because often the jurisdictions (cities, counties, indian reservations) set their own rules beyond the state.

In Vegas, this is more company dependent. Caesars dealers are not allowed to play where they deal, but are allowed at other company properties. In other locations however (Tahoe) they are allowed to play where they deal, likely due to lack of options.

Dealers are great for the game. When they play they are usually playing for fun so tend to splash around/play loose a lot, making the whole table better. "You play like a dealer" is not a compliment lol.
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Old 06-03-2021, 11:24 AM   #16
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

It is like many things. If it is done transparently and honestly, it isn't going to be a problem. However, that isn't poker. At some point, there's going to need to be a floor ruling that is close between an employee at the table and a customer that's going to create hard feelings. If it is, "Employee, you can play but anything that is remotely close is going to be ruled against you," then it will probably work.
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Old 06-03-2021, 01:01 PM   #17
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

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If it is, "Employee, you can play but anything that is remotely close is going to be ruled against you," then it will probably work.
That's exactly how I felt Bellagio handled it.
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Old 06-03-2021, 02:07 PM   #18
jpack
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

Here in AZ (Talking Stick) dealers are allowed to play with their badge on (except for currently because of Covid). Iíve yet to play with a dealer that I didnít want in the game.
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Old 06-03-2021, 02:29 PM   #19
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

As a casino I could sorta see wanting to protect the dealers a bit by banning them. In Vegas you can gamble anywhere else anyway so may as well allow them to play at your place.
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Old 06-03-2021, 08:30 PM   #20
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

I'm a poker manager.

I feel that if I can't be trusted to play at my own casino, then I shouldn't be trusted to.manage it.

I like fairness but consider that I should be held to higher standards when playing. So when I do play I tend to be extremely quiet. Most players know me and trust me so its almost never an issue. Comments do happen from time to time from new players, but I'm almost always defended by local players.

Staff knows that I expect them them to be fair and rulings against me are not only acceptable but also necessary when that is the case.

That said, it is still frowned upon by some regular players who had rulings against them from me in the past.
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Old 06-04-2021, 08:00 AM   #21
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

Not so sure that 'trust' is the right word for it. It's just one of those cases where one experience can get the poker world fired up .. and probably not for a very good reason.

I would love to get some Floors at the table for sure .. nothing better than (perceived) 'rake back'. I also feel that a Floor sitting down in a tournament would be looked at differently than a cash game.

This really isn't a 'poker' thing when it comes to 'management'. There's practically zero chance that a person acts the same playing golf, at a BBQ or any other social situation after a boss/higher up rolls in. I would never say it's better or worse, but it's definitely 'different'.

It comes down to personality and what kind of customer relationship the room puts out there. The smaller the room the better chance of things going off without a hitch. GL
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Old 06-04-2021, 10:10 AM   #22
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

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Originally Posted by answer20 View Post
This really isn't a 'poker' thing when it comes to 'management'. There's practically zero chance that a person acts the same playing golf, at a BBQ or any other social situation after a boss/higher up rolls in. I would never say it's better or worse, but it's definitely 'different'.

It comes down to personality and what kind of customer relationship the room puts out there. The smaller the room the better chance of things going off without a hitch. GL
+1

For every story of a manager accepting a ruling against them, there is a story like when Bobby Baldwin fired a dealer who asked him to move his leg because Bobby was blocking the drop box.
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Old 06-04-2021, 10:49 AM   #23
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

Are employees who are allowed to play also promo/jackpot-eligible?

I could see that leading to problems.
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Old 06-04-2021, 01:14 PM   #24
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

As a dealer I would find it incredibly awkward to play in my own room. In fact I still find it a bit awkward when I play against several of our regs at one of the other local rooms. It's not that they do anything to make it awkward. It's just weird if I stack someone or say call for a ruling that goes against them, and then the next day am dealing to them and they are tipping me. It's not the majority by any means, but I have had several players who have tipped less since they played against me in another room.

I couldn't imagine doing that in my own room.
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Old 06-04-2021, 04:07 PM   #25
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Re: Casino employees playing cash

I've played quite a bit with dealers and floors over the years and I've never had a problem with it.

I'd probably avoid playing where I worked though, for several reasons:
-Possibility of upsetting customers (reduced tips, etc)
-Playing sub-optimally to avoid upsetting customers. I see this a lot, and it's probably part of the reason I've never had a problem with them playing
-Expected to tip above average because they're your coworkers and also to set an example
-To answer madlex's question, I know some places (maybe even most?) where employees can not win any promo or jackpot money, even though they are paying into it
-Gambling temptation/addiction. I know players lose their paychecks every day, but it just seems a little worse when it's where you work
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