Horseshoe Casino's plan to keep out cheats and other troublemakers

Feb 26, 2013

The camera, in the top left corner of this picture, is one of hundreds in and around the Horseshoe Casino.
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU

You may not realize it but if you go to the new Horseshoe Casino or even walk past it, chances are you will be watched on camera. The casino security staff, state agents and Cincinnati Police officers are partnering to try to keep the Horseshoe safe and prevent theft.

The security office is one of the busiest places at Cincinnati's Horseshoe Casino. Everybody, except for guests, has to check in there first. That means, employees, delivery people, reporters and more. The casino security and surveillance departments watch them long before they get to that office.

Just driving around in the casino garage there is a camera about every 20 feet. This is in addition to all the cameras inside Horseshoe and those in and around the Reading Road corridor.

On the day WVXU visited, the casino's Director of Security, Richard Janke, a retired Assistant Cincinnati Police Chief was checking everyone in. Interestingly, his wife Captain Kimberly Janke, is in charge of all the patrolling for the area outside and around the casino, in the city's Central Business District. She has been attending meetings with the casino and the Sheriff's Department about the patrols even before Horseshoe was built.

"You know our vice control section has been in touch. They come to all the meetings. They will be involved. They will also be involved in patrolling the casino in and around the casino and the casino has 105 security staff of their own."

Separate from all this are the ten agents from the Ohio Casino Control Commission. They are trained to catch gamblers who cheat. OCCC Director of Enforcement Karen Huey says the biggest problem in Black Jack for example, is pinching and capping bets.

"So let's say you're sitting around a Black Jack table and the dealer has turned over their card. You know that the dealer is going to win and you're not. You will try to pull back some of your chips so that you don't lose as much as you normally would. That's called pinching a bet. If you see that the dealer turned over a card and you are going to win, while the dealer is distracted, you are going to try to add to your bet. You're going to add chips to your bet so you're going to win more and that is called capping a bet. Both of those are illegal and felony fives in Ohio."

...and those felonies are punishable for up to two years in prison, if convicted. And people do cheat. To get ready for the opening, Huey met with the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office last week. She says if a person is suspected of cheating, chances are they won't go to jail immediately, but the Ohio Casino Control Commission will question them and confiscate their chips.

"We're going to observe them. Potentially we're going to take a statement but then we're also going to go back and determine when did they arrive at the casino, what have they been doing. Have they been here on other occasions? Try to understand who that person is and what kind of case we want to put together."

Sometimes the cheating comes in groups. Huey says in Toledo an organized roulette group worked in concert to try and fool the casino, but the participants were caught. In fact, more than 50 gamblers, playing at the new casinos in Cleveland, Toledo and Columbus have already been indicted.