Being a celebrity must be hard work - what with all the money, fame and adoration, something has got to give. And, as it turns out, the thing which breaks the camel’s (celebrity’s?) back, is entering a casino.
Most top casinos and casino resorts pride themselves as being professional gambling entertainment establishments. Many fine operators provide flawless services and do not take kindly to chance-takers who are trying to take their business for a ride.
There is general etiquette that should be abided by to avoid offending the establishment, which often has no problem removing and banning players from the building for getting out of hand.
Five ‘A-List’ celebrities found out the hard way of how bans may come quickly to those who try to defy the odds by unique means. This article will provide you with all the juicy details of those bans, but be sure to read on to the end for a helpful guide on the ‘’dos’’ and ‘’don’ts’’ of land-based casinos. This way you can avoid offending the casino and dodge the chop next time you visit!
Ben Affleck: Banned from the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas
Ben Affleck has always had the reputation of being just a bit too clever for his day job. Whether it’s writing and starring in his own movie, or mastering the art of card counting, he’s more than ‘just an actor’.
While it’s not strictly illegal in casinos, it is grounds for barring a player – as Affleck discovered when he was banned from the Hard Rock Casino.
But Affleck is more than just ‘good’ at card counting – in 2004, he won the California State Poker Championship, along with a $365,000 prize. In the past, he’s won almost $1 million from the Hard Rock Casino in two trips, and even won $140,000 in a single sitting of Blackjack, giving his prize money away to the casino’s staff. While it’s not strictly illegal in casinos, it is grounds for barring a player – as Affleck discovered when he was banned from the Hard Rock Casino.
Derren Brown: Banned from Broadway Plaza Casino in Birmingham, UK (and Most Other British Casinos)
If you’ve been lucky enough to see Derren Brown’s stage shows during one of his New Zealand trips, then you know that the British ‘visual illusionist’ can manage his way around a deck of cards.
He might have also mentioned that he is a very unwelcome guest in virtually every British casino. In fact, Brown’s notorious card counting skills (and his frequent TV specials) led to his direct ban in one casino in Birmingham, UK.
In May 2013, Brown entered Birmingham’s Broadway Plaza Casino and headed to the blackjack tables. The staff, knowing exactly who he was, asked him to leave, fearing it would ruin the casino financially.
We think it’s time Brown moved to play online blackjack instead.
One Direction: Banned from The Palms Hotel, Las Vegas
The British boyband could be excused for thinking they were old enough to gamble since the legal gambling age in Britain is 18. However, they didn’t factor that in on their trip to Las Vegas, where the legal gambling age is 21.
The five – Harry, Louis, Zayn, Lia, and Niall – were all under 21, leading to the Palms Hotel Casino management placing them on high security, and kicking them out.
Lil’ Wayne: Banned from the Wynn Casino, Las Vegas
Lil’ Wayne managed to get banned from the Wynn Casino and hotel in Las Vegas.
The casino management has never revealed exactly what it was which led to Lil’ Wayne’s banning, only that they ‘don’t want any trouble’ from him, and that if he attempted to return he would be forcibly removed.
Paris Hilton: Banned from Her Own Casino
We’ve saved the best ‘celebrity’ for last: and yes, you did read that correctly – Paris Hilton – heiress, DJ, ‘singer’, socialite – was banned from a casino which proudly displays the Hilton name above the door.
Although she’s no stranger to casino bans, the 2006 incident comes to mind as she was banned by her father himself.
Hilton had been playing in a high-stakes poker game, a game she describes herself as ‘obsessed’ with, and her ‘favourite’. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to have been too good at it, losing her $165,000 Bentley. Her father, in turn, told Paris to seek help for her apparent gambling problem and enforced his word by banning her outright.
She was also been banned from two Wynn Resorts casinos in 2010 after she was arrested at the Las Vegas casino for possession of narcotics.
How to Avoid the Ban: Casino Etiquette 101
To avoid being a nuisance and maintain your casino membership, it may be worthwhile remembering to abide by a few etiquette rules when visiting your local casino.
- Dress the Part
Be sure to find out the dress code at a casino before you decide to pop in for a flutter. While many casinos allow casual clothing, there are others that hold a more formal and conservative approach to the type of attire they allow on their gaming floors. Here, you will need to wear trousers, a collared shirt, and perhaps even a jacket.
- Sober Status Success
Avoid drinking too much. While casinos are there for relaxation and entertainment, don’t have fun at someone else’s expense. Lousy drunks can spoil the mood for all those playing around them.
- Chip In
When it comes to handling chips at a casino, you need to know a few things:
- Different tables have different bet limits, therefore buy chip denominations that will suit the game you want to play.
- Never touch another player’s chips.
- Never remove chips from the table while a game round is in process or the roulette wheel is still in play.
- Cash in your chips for unique coloured chips when playing roulette. The croupier will manage the process for you.
- If you win, the dealer will put the winning chips on top of your stake. It is your job to remove the chips from the table. Failure to do this before the next round will result in those chips counting as a wager.
- Be sure to cash out at the roulette table before you leave, as the special chips will need to remain with the croupier, and general gaming chips will be given back to you in their stead.
- The Dealer is Boss
Dealer’s direct the passage of play. Listen intently to their instructions. They will tell you when to place bets and when to stop. Most casinos will offer gaming classes to teach you the ins and the outs of games like blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and others.
- Good Service is worth a Tip
Just like the hospitality in a restaurant warrants a tip, it’s the done thing to pay a gratuity to the dealer upon leaving the table. There is no written code about how much is enough, but anything is better than nothing.
- Device Don’ts
Two devices that ought to remain far from the tables is your mobile phone and your camera, which is usually the same device these days.
Put your phone on silent when seated at a gambling table. Speaking on a phone while other players are trying to concentrate on the game is rude and will often not be tolerated by dealers and croupiers. If you really have to take a call, excuse yourself from the table before answering.
Most casinos will not let you take photos inside the gaming floor area. This serves as a deterrent for both cheating and other criminal activities.
- Remain Dignified
We all know that game rounds can be frustrating at times, but don’t let others feel uncomfortable because your roulette stake was off the mark again, or that your blackjack hand narrowly lost to the dealers 17. Tantrums should be put on hold and handled at home instead of at the table.
- Jokes Aside
Do not make silly jokes about stealing money or allude to any criminal activities at a casino. Security and staff will not take these gestures lightly. Remember that a casino is loaded with cash at any time of the day and high-security protocols are put in place to make sure that it all stays safe.
Also, do not mention or joke about cheating. You may find yourself escorted to your car by big bulky bouncers.
- No Card Counting
Card Counting is not illegal, but the practice does not go down well with casino management and staff. If they catch you at your game, the casino will act on its “Admission Reserved” policy and you will be asked to leave the establishment. There is a good chance that you will get a lifelong ban from betting at that casino again too, so don’t spoil it for yourself.
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