I’m going to apologize ahead of time for the darkness of this blog. While it might not be the most uplifting of topics, it’s one that is extremely important and may save you from a major hassle, a security threat, or God forbid worse. Here’s the harsh truth. We live in a world with a lot of terrible people who are dishonest, like to steal and like to harm others. I wish this were not the case, but unfortunately, it is what the world has become.
One thing is true about these terrible people. They gravitate to places where there is a lot of money and potential targets to take advantage of. They look for places where people might be distracted, and they can hide in the commotion and pick off their victims one by one. Unfortunately, casinos fit this criterion more perfectly than pretty much anywhere else in the world. There is tons of money floating around, and patrons are typically intoxicated and distracted by the games, the crowds, and the flashing lights.
Casinos do the best that they can to protect you, but they can only do so much. If you’ve ever seen the ratio between security guards and patrons, you can understand why they struggle to handle every threat. All of the security cameras may make you feel a bit more comfortable, but in reality, most of these are aimed at catching people that are stealing from the casino or trying to cheat the house.
Ultimately, the responsibility is yours to protect yourself as much as possible from these potential threats. As we have spent a lot of time in casinos around the world, we have put together a few tips that you can use to try and make any trip to a brick-and-mortar a bit safer. Even though these tips will help, there’s no way to guarantee safety from all threats except not going to the casino. To be honest, this is one of the big reasons that we push online casinos over brick-and-mortar. Not only do you save money and time, but you are significantly safer.
All that being said, this article will focus on those tips for those that decide to venture out to the casino. Some of these tips may sound very basic, but they are the key to keeping yourself safe and can easily be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of a busy casino.
You Can Never Be Too Aware of Your Surroundings
This is one of those tips that is going to sound overly basic but is probably the most important and the one that people ignore the most. The single greatest thing you can do to protect yourself in a casino environment or any environment for that matter is to know 100% who is around you and what they are doing. Now, I’m not saying that you need to be a private eye and take detailed accounts of everyone’s actions around you. Would that be safe? Yes, but you would have zero fun, and there would be no point in ever leaving the house.
The secret is finding the happy medium between enjoying the activity or game you are playing while still being aware of what is going on around you. One of the worst things you can do is to drink too much to the point that you can’t focus on what is going on around you. The more alcohol that people consume, the more tunnel vision that they get and the less they focus on their surroundings. If you don’t think that you do this when you drink, I can guarantee you that you are wrong.
I typically will position myself where I have a nice view of what is going on around me and will avoid areas or situations that awareness becomes difficult. For example, when I sit at the blackjack table, I take one of the seats at the far ends of the table. This way if people come up to watch the table they are not standing directly behind me but are standing behind the other players. When people are behind you, you have no way of knowing what they are doing or if a potential threat is coming your way.
Again, I’m not saying that you should ignore your games completely so you can be safer. I am just saying to have some level of awareness at all times. I have literally gone up and sat next to people at slot machines, and they had zero idea I was there for half an hour. If that is you, you are letting potential threats get way too close to your personal space. If someone were that close and decided to do harm to you, you have absolutely no time to react and protect yourself.
Park in the Designated Areas
Surprisingly, most people think about protecting themselves inside the casino and don’t think about what goes on outside. In reality, most crimes, assaults, and robberies are going to take place outside of the casino in the parking lot. Protecting yourself here is paramount to having a fun and safe gambling experience.
The bottom line here is to park where you feel safe. Park in well-lit areas and areas that are specifically designated for casino parking. If you are not comfortable with any of the parking at the casino, pay the extra couple bucks and use valet. Honestly, though, if there is no safe parking at a casino then it is probably not a casino you want to spend much time at.
Also, remember the first tip applies outside in the parking lot as well. Parking lots give potential predators a lot of great hiding spots where they can attempt to catch you off-guard. The single greatest deterrent to this is spotting these threats before they have a chance to get the jump on you. Carrying mace or something similar to protect yourself only helps if you are not so taken off guard that you can’t get access to it.
An additional point here is to make sure that you don’t leave any valuables in sight in your car while you’re inside the casino. Criminals love to break windows and steal anything of value from cars. Even if you don’t have something valuable in your car but have a bag in the backseat, they will probably bash your window in just to check anyways, and you will be stuck with a hefty repair bill.
The last thing about parking… please, please, please, please lock your car. Criminals are looking for easy targets, and sometimes they will cruise through the lot checking car doors for someone who forgot to lock their car.
Trust Your Gut
Our brains do tons of calculations and analysis behind the scenes without us even noticing. Usually, when we think that we have a gut feeling about something, it is really our brain trying to tell us what it has subconsciously determined from past knowledge and experiences. This is the reason that you can sense things and are correct more often than you are not.
If anything feels wrong, do something proactive about it. Don’t just say to yourself that this looks wrong and continue on your way. You need to do something proactive to protect yourself. For example, if you are walking through the parking lot and you see someone coming your way that you are uncomfortable with, start walking a different direction. The worst thing that happens if they are not a predator is that you feel silly, but you are still safe. If they continue to follow you or walk your way, then you know something is wrong, and you can take even further proactive steps.
The point here is that your brain is always looking out for you and you have to trust it when it tries to tell you that something is wrong. This does not mean that you should panic every time you get nervous or anxiety about something. All I am saying is that you should not immediately dismiss your internal feelings when you think something is not right.
Too Good To Be True
There is the old cliche phrase that if it is too good to be true, then it probably is. Sadly, this tends to be the case with casinos. Now, we are not referring to promotions or programs that are run by the casino. Those sorts of things are going to be exactly what they are in the terms and conditions. Yes, those also may be not as great as they sound but that is not what I am referring to today.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been at the casino and another patron has come up to me with some sort of proposition that was too good to be true. I’ve had people try and sell me things or get me to purchase betting slips from them or even place a bet for them to get some sort of cut. I have always been smart enough to steer clear of these situations, but I have watched other people get involved and get burned for money over and over again. The only person that you can trust in a casino is yourself or the casino staff (most of the time). All of the other riff-raffs are usually up to no good if they have some sort of proposition for you.
My rule of thumb is that if it does not come from the casino directly, then I am not interested in it and do not get involved with it no matter how great it sounds. Honestly, this is what I highly recommend you adopt as your policy as well.
Don’t Flaunt Your Money
Everybody loves winning and feeling like a high roller. The problem with broadcasting big wins or how much money you have on you is that it lets potential criminals know that you are a high-value target. They know that if they rob you, they are going to get a hefty payday from one person. I have read articles and interviews with criminals where they talk about how easy it is to pick out targets because people want to feel cool by showing off their jewelry and how much money they have on them.
There is nothing wrong with celebrating when you win. The point that I am trying to make here is that you shouldn’t be broadcasting your big win until your money is somewhere safe like deposited into your bank account. If you were a criminal and saw two people that you were trying to decide who to rob and one of them was waving around thousands of dollars, who would you rob? The answer to that question should show you why this is so important not to do.
The Wrap Up
It’s ultimately up to you to protect yourself. The casino will do everything that it can to keep you safe, but they can only do so much. The tips we provided here may seem basic but keeping yourself safe usually is basic. Criminals look for easy targets and will move on to someone else if you are no longer an easy target. The tips we gave will help to deter potential threats from trying to prey on you.
I have been in situations where I was confident that someone was looking to do me harm or steal something from me and they stopped as soon as they realized I was fully aware of what they were trying to do and proactively taking steps to deter them. There’s a reason that people who can’t afford alarm systems will still buy a sign that says alarm system or beware of dog. While both of these may not be true, would-be criminals are just going to go to the next house and look for the easier target and not take the chance.
The secret to being safe is not being the easiest target.
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