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Casino Fraud Investigator With Unique Set Of Skills Reveals How To Catch A Cheat

Anish Vij

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Casino Fraud Investigator With Unique Set Of Skills Reveals How To Catch A Cheat

A casino fraud investigator who trains casinos worldwide on how to protect their assets has revealed how he catches a cheat. Watch below:


It seems as if the mob-influenced gambling world portrayed by Hollywood films, such as Casino and The Sting, is rightly or wrongly a thing of the past.

Sal Piacente, 57, caught 'the tail end' of the mafia's ownership of Las Vegas but admits that the films we grew up loving are pretty accurate.

The famous scene from Martin Scorsese's Casino - where an unlucky punter gets his fingers smashed up after getting caught - was referred to as being in the category of 'real-life' incidents.

Robert De Niro in Casino (1995). Credit: Alamy
Robert De Niro in Casino (1995). Credit: Alamy

Sal, who sounds a little bit like a New York mobster himself, told LADbible: "That movie portrays a lot of real incidents, and a lot of real characters.

"They really do their homework on that movie. Yeah. Great film."

Despite sounding like a Don, Sal works for the 'good guys' and hates seeing people get scammed.

He's been in the game for over 30 years, working as a dealer, a supervisor and as a player.

Sal's unique skill set allows him to memorise magazines, 50-digit numbers, decks of cards and rapid maths. Even as a child, he learnt how to 'memorise four hours of studying in just 10 minutes'.

The guy seriously knows his stuff.

Sal is currently the president of Universal Game Protection and 'The Hitman' explained: "What I do on a full time basis is lecture to casinos worldwide, on how to protect their assets.


"I demonstrate how dealers cheat, how players cheat, how would advantage players work, and more importantly, how to deter it as well as detected."

Sal then spoke about his process: "First thing they would do is send me the tape. Let me see the play, the play will give it up. Follow the money when they bet, look at the plays, look at the strategy. That's number one.

"Hopefully, you'll have good footage of it to observe, but you want to see the tape replays winning constantly, you want to try to accumulate as much footage every candidate, person analysis, you want to look at a dealer.

Next, he said: "You want to look at the equipment, I mean, you want to look at the procedures to see where they can be exploited.

"So we (referring to his equally talented wife who works with him) usually ride a day early to look at the property to look at the operation before anybody knows who we are. And then we'll do an outside evaluation.

"We look at the staff, we look at the equipment and we look at their procedures, and we look for any vulnerabilities. And then in training, anything observed is covered."

Credit: Sal Piacente
Credit: Sal Piacente

Now, we've all heard the saying, 'the house always wins'.

But what does that really mean?

Sal explained: "Well, the house always wins. Of course, that's a statement. But what it means is all the games that the casinos have, or mathematically designed for the casinos to win.

Of course, that doesn't mean people can't still get an edge over a casino.

He added: "Advantage players are coming up with ways constantly of trying to get an edge over the house.

"The game is a mathematically designed, where the player should not win, but people will win, when they get lucky. And of course, that's a good thing for the casinos.

"That's why when people win a lot of money, the first thing that casinos want to do is try and keep them there. How do you keep someone there - you give them free rooms.

"You give them free buffets, you give them free gifts, anything to entice them to come back. If a person does keep winning constantly, then you're going to look at is this player lucky? Or are they doing something?

"And usually my rule of thumb is the play, the play will give it up when you see people do weird things they shouldn't.

"For example, I have some video footage here. And you'll see a person betting very little, then all of a sudden, betting two hands, table Max wind, and then go back to very little. There's no way that that player legitimately wants to make those big bets."

Credit: Sal Piacente
Credit: Sal Piacente

But the biggest issue Sal takes up with casinos are the floor supervisors.

As I reminded him, it's not like there's Robert De Niro's walking around the casino floor, to which he agreed.

He concluded: "The biggest misconception is a lot of the floor supervisors aren't as trained as they well as they should be, they don't know as much as people think they do. I'm not talking about every casino, I'm just talking about, I'm not going to say the majority, but a lot of them. So that's the misconception.

"People are fooled by the suit."

Featured Image Credit: Sal Piacente

Topics: Gambling

Anish Vij
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