Can Casinos Employees Gamble Or Accept Tips? Depends on the country, type of casino (brick-and-mortar or online), and the casino's internal policies.
We had the privilege of conversing with Péter Deli, a highly knowledgeable online casino expert from Hungary, who provided us with his thoughts on whether casino employees are permitted to gamble in the same casino where they are employed. Péter is an ardent casino enthusiast, and you can learn more about his background here.
Online casinos are considered a better option these days. Most online casinos obtain their licenses from offshore jurisdictions and conduct their business from there. One of the leading hubs for online casinos is Malta. While Maltese law does not prohibit online gambling employees from playing, individual casinos may choose to impose their own rules and prohibit their staff from gambling.
In fact, some online casinos go as far as forbidding their employees from signing up as players due to their inside knowledge of the company's operations. Since all players must undergo identity verification upon signing up, it's easy for casinos to cross-check the names of new players and their own employees to ensure compliance with their policies.
In some situations, it's necessary for employees to have access to online casino games even if they're typically prohibited from playing them. For instance, customer support representatives must test games when players report issues. Similarly, content writers and marketing professionals need hands-on experience to produce engaging content about the games. In such cases, employees are usually granted playing credits, but even if they win, they're not permitted to cash out.
However, employees working in the payments and fraud departments are generally barred from gambling due to the potential risk of cheating. As they're privy to the operational procedures, they could identify system weaknesses and exploit them for personal gain.
On the other hand, some online casinos allow and even encourage their employees to gamble. Some casinos offer gaming credits as a bonus, birthday or Christmas gift to their staff, which they can use to play the games. If they win, they're permitted to withdraw their winnings and make additional deposits.
The situation concerning gambling for employees in land-based casinos is markedly different from online casinos. In some countries, laws prohibit citizens from gambling, and this restriction can extend to casino employees as well. For instance, in the Bahamas, where casino tourism is a significant contributor to the economy, Bahamian citizens are prohibited from gambling. Consequently, national croupiers or bartenders working in Bahamian casinos are prohibited by law from gambling on the premises.
In Las Vegas, the casino management determines the policy regarding gambling by employees. Some employees claim that they can gamble in the casino they work at without any issues, while others are allowed to play only in certain areas. For example, slot technicians are prohibited from playing slot games but can indulge in poker or roulette tables. Blackjack dealers are also not allowed to play blackjack since they possess inside knowledge that could give them an unfair advantage.
In Las Vegas, there are several casino hotels that are part of the same chain. For instance, MGM Resorts owns multiple properties such as Bellagio, Excalibur, and Luxor. When sister casinos exist, employees are often encouraged to play at their sibling properties.
Regarding higher management, playing in their own or sister casinos may be forbidden. However, they are generally permitted to use other hotel amenities such as bars, restaurants, or pools.
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Compared to the sprawling casinos in Las Vegas or Macau, land-based casinos in Hungary are relatively smaller in size. Consequently, it's unlikely to encounter a blackjack dealer playing roulette the following day, making such incidents quite noticeable. This rule generally applies to other upscale establishments in Hungary as well. If you're staying at a 5-star hotel in Budapest, it's unlikely to spot the receptionist drinking at the bar or sharing the sauna bench with you.
Can Casinos Employees Accept Tips
It's customary to tip dealers when gambling at a casino, with failure to do so sometimes resulting in disgruntled fellow players. Dealers also tend to deal faster when they receive tips, which is a preference for most players, as it means more hands are dealt. When tipping, it's important to avoid directly handing over chips to the dealer, as this is generally frowned upon by casinos. Instead, set the chips aside and inform the dealer that they are for them.
The amount of tipping can depend on various factors, such as the duration of time spent at the table and whether you have won or lost. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to tip around 15-20% of the number of chips bought during the session. Alternatively, some players may prefer to tip one dollar per pot won, with larger pots warranting larger tips.
An alternative method of tipping is to share your winnings with the dealer, which involves tipping an equal amount of one to five percent of each pot won. As subsequent pots are won, it's appropriate to increase the tip amount accordingly. It's worth noting that collecting the blinds does not require tipping the dealer.
The policy regarding gambling by casino employees is not universally consistent across the globe. If there is no legal prohibition against it, whether or not casino staff are allowed to gamble is entirely up to the discretion of the establishment.
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