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Las Vegas Criminal Defense

Illegal Gambling in Vegas


Back in the day, counting cards could get you beat up by mobsters who weren’t too fond of losing out on profits as a result of your shenanigans.  And while you may have seen a movie or two that made you think you’d be cuffed and dragged by police out of a blackjack pit, the truth is that counting cards is not illegal in Las Vegas. Even so, it is frowned on, and casinos, which are privately owned and operated, have the right to ask you to leave if they suspect that’s what you’re up to. (Plus, they could send your picture to other casinos, so they’ll be on the lookout for you!)  So while it could get you sent home, it won’t get you sent to jail. What could get the police involved, however, is failing to comply with security—so it is highly advised that if they walk you out, you comply without argument or fuss.

 What Will Get You In Big Trouble 

Although card counting isn’t the biggest problem you could have in Vegas, there are certainly gambling issues that could cost you more than you might be willing to part with—in terms of time behind bars and more. Steer clear of legal violations by avoiding these and other gambling problems, which are illegal when occurring in a small time grocery store, a famous casino, a track, or elsewhere:

  • Card switching;
  • Changing your bet after the dealer has laid out the cards;
  • Using a computer, phone, or other device to help you achieve better outcomes;
  • Using a camera or other device to try to see what the dealer is holding;
  • Colluding with the dealer to win unlawfully;
  • Use insider information when placing bets;
  • Enticing other people to join in illegal gambling;
  • Bribing officials or others to influence the outcome of games;
  • Otherwise cheating or manipulating games.


Whether or not the cheating leads to big wins, those who violate the law could be found guilty of gaming fraud, which is a serious charge in Nevada. An initial conviction is punishable by up to five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, and restitution. Subsequent violations of NRS 465.070-465.086 could face six years behind bars, along with the $10,000 in fines and retribution costs. And since the charges are felonies, the impacts will follow you for years when you fill out job and housing applications, realize you can no longer serve on a jury or vote, and have to go through the embarrassment of sharing your history with friends, family, and in new relationships.

Fighting Charges 

The experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at Lobo Law will always fight aggressively to achieve the best outcomes for you.  To discuss, schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.

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