Is Cheating a Casino a Criminal or Civil Issue?

Written by: The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata

An Overview of the Potential Penalties of Cheating at a Las Vegas Casino

Casinos are where fortunes are won and lost in the blink of an eye. The thought of winning big can sometimes tempt individuals to cheat, leading to serious legal consequences. In this article, we explore whether cheating at a casino falls under criminal law, civil law, or a combination of both.

Were you caught cheating at a Nevada casino? Contact The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata. As a top criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas, Mr. Ogata will aggressively defend you against the charges and work hard to secure the best possible outcome. Call (702) 366-0891 to schedule a free case review.

The Seriousness of Gambling-Related Crimes

Casinos operate under strict regulations. While each state sets forth its own set of laws to address gambling-related offenses, in general, cheating at a casino is considered a serious offense. Therefore, anyone convicted of cheating at a gambling establishment faces harsh consequences.

Examples of Cheating at a Casino

There are a number of ways players can cheat a casino. However, the following are some of the most common examples:

Counting Cards

In card games, such as blackjack, card counting involves keeping track of the cards that have been dealt in order to gain an advantage. This is considered a form of cheating because it gives players an unfair edge in predicting the chances of certain cards being dealt.

Using Electronic Devices

Some players attempt to use electronic devices, such as smartphones or hidden cameras, to access information about cards or game outcomes, a violation of casino rules.

Marked Cards

Marking cards involves putting subtle marks on or otherwise altering cards to recognize them during the game. Individuals who use marked cards have an unfair advantage; therefore, it is a form of cheating.

Past Posting

Past posting occurs when a player makes a late bet after the game’s outcome is already known. This deceptive way to secure winnings is typically done in fast-paced games. 


Skilled players may attempt sleight-of-hand techniques to manipulate chips or cards during a game. This process can involve fast yet subtle movements that deceive both the dealer and other players.

Switching Cards

Players may try to switch the cards they were dealt with cards from outside the game. This common form of cheating typically involves switching a losing card with a winning one.

Chip Dumping

This form of collusion takes place when players intentionally lose chips to a partner. Chip dumping manipulates the game and ensures that one of the colluding players walks away with more chips.

The Consequences of Cheating a Casino

Criminal Charges

Cheating at a casino can lead to criminal charges in Nevada under NRS 465.083, as it involves intentional deception in order to gain an unfair advantage. One key aspect of casino cheating is the intent to defraud. In these cases, courts carefully examine whether the defendant knowingly engaged in deceptive practices with the intent of securing winnings under false pretenses. 

Cheating at gambling is a category C felony in Nevada, carrying penalties of up to 5 years in prison, restitution, and fines up to $10,000. However, charges can be dropped if the defendant establishes they had no fraudulent intent.

Civil Liability

In addition to criminal charges, those caught cheating at a casino may also face civil liability. Gambling establishments have the right to protect their interests and seek compensation for any losses incurred as a result of the defendant’s cheating. 

Civil cases related to casino cheating generally involve claims of breach of contract, fraud, or unjust enrichment. They may argue that the cheater violated the terms and conditions of the gaming agreement, and as a result, their establishment suffered a financial loss. In civil cases, the burden of proof is typically lower than in a criminal case, only requiring the casino to show that cheating occurred and caused damages.

Contact The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata

Cheating at a casino might seem like a way to win big, but doing so can have life-altering consequences. Breaking the rules can lead to both criminal charges and a civil lawsuit brought by the casino. There are also additional consequences, such as being banned from casinos and having a tarnished reputation. So, it is important to remember that the thrill of winning should not come at the cost of your freedom and future.
At The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata, we understand that people make mistakes. That is why we are committed to protecting the rights of individuals who are facing serious criminal charges. Contact us online or call (702) 366-0891 today to speak with a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer for free.

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