PA Regulators: Blackjack Cheating Not a Problem

When the state of Pennsylvania decided to allow blackjack and other table games at their casinos last year, some were worried about the impact of cheating. After all, it’s virtually impossible to cheat at slots but blackjack, on the other hand, has a lot of tricks for people who want to cheat the system.

However, according to the state’s regulators, cheating at table games has not been much of a problem so far. Members from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board told the Erie Times-News that, although they don’t have exact statistics for the number of cheaters caught at the state’s casinos, it has not been much of a problem. Most of the gamblers are playing it straight and most of the cheaters caught, they say, were caught early on as players tried to “test the waters” to see if the casinos were up to the challenge. They were.

Greg Fajt, chairman of the gaming board, put it best. “I always say, the casino is the worst place in the world to commit a crime. Everything is on camera,” he said. Casinos have sophisticated security techniques in place to identify and prevent cheating. That includes surveillance cameras, gaming board offers walking the floor, the pit boss walking the floor, the presence of state police, managers and the dealers, who are trained to spot behavior that indicates cheating.

Of those who were caught cheating, the regulators said that most tried the techniques known as capping and pinching. Capping is sneaking extra chips onto your bet when you have a good hand. Pinching is the opposite, sneaking chips away from your betting pile when you see that you have a bad hand.

In Pennsylvania, cheating at a casino is either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on a number of factors, such as the amount of money in play. The offenses can result in a hefty fine and prison time, not to mention being banned from playing at casinos in the state after that.

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