21. Bathroom Blues. Beware the bathrooms, where no casino cameras can survey the area, and where thieves come to do their dirty. The bathrooms of casinos rarely have security guards. Attendants are present in the better hotels but they are there to see that the bathroom stays clean, not to prevent patrons from getting cleaned out by criminals. Learn a lesson from the woman whose purse was stolen because she hung it up on the bathroom stall. Don?t assume some long-armed thief won?t reach over and grab your money when you are in no position to stop them. Thankfully, many of the newer casinos and the remodeled bathrooms have shelves by the toilet paper where you can put your purse, or they have hooks that are midway on the door. And men at urinals are not so safe either. In Atlantic City a gang of brazen thieves had a rather nasty modus operandi. They would target senior citizens who had just won some money and were on their way to the bathroom. They would sneak up behind the poor guy while he was at the urinal, put him in a stranglehold, leave him unconscious on the bathroom floor, minus his wallet, his chips, his jewelry and his dignity. There?s little enough dignity in a bathroom as it is, there is none when you wind up in this situation. This ring was broken up in 1998 but that doesn?t mean other enterprising urinologists might not attempt to continue the tradition. So men, you should seriously consider going into stalls for all bodily functions and give the urinals a wide berth.
22. Talk Before You Walk. Don?t assume that because the casino-hotel looks safe and nonthreatening, the neighborhood it?s in is equally safe and nonthreatening. My wife, A.P., and I love to walk and when we are staying in an unfamiliar town we generally map out a five to six-mile walk that we can take every morning. Before we do this we ask someone at the front desk about the surrounding area. Are there any places we shouldn?t walk? In Atlantic City, for example, you are better off walking on the boardwalk then through the neighborhoods. In Vegas, your downtown walks should be confined to circuits of the Fremont Street Experience as the surrounding neighborhood will have more hoods than neighbors. So if you like to walk, then make it a point to talk to casino personnel who can tell you where to go and where not to go.
23. Spill Grab. If someone spills a drink at your table, don?t just jump up to avoid the splash -- grab your chips too! A common ploy for some criminals is to ?accidently? spill a drink, then in a frenzy to prevent it from getting all over the table, they knock over everyone?s chips, palming some in the process. If a drink spills, grab first, jump up second.
24. Buckets in Tray. When you play slot machines, if you are the type of person who likes to keep a nice full bucket of coins, keep it in the tray in front of you. If someone should come up on your left or right to talk to you immediately put your hand on your bucket. The coin stealers generally work in pairs this way: one talks, while the other walks away with your bucket.
25. Trust No One. The protagonist on X-Files, Fox Mulder, is an FBI agent whose credo is to ?Trust No One.? In a casino that credo translates into great advice. My Aunt Annie put a twenty-dollar in a bill changer that rejected it. She didn?t know that the bill had been rejected or that this particular machine was rejecting bills left and right, because a woman started to talk to her just as she placed the bill into the receptacle. When she turned around to play her ?credits? there were no credits as the machine had spit out the twenty-dollar bill. Unfortunately, there also was no twenty-dollar bill either as the woman she had been talking to -- or an accomplice -- had taken the rejected twenty! Trust no one. The friendly person who will watch your credit-laden machine while you go to the bathroom; the person who informs you that you dropped a couple of quarters on the floor; the person who pardons himself profusely after bumping you; the lady who asks for the time -- are all occasions for concern. Keep your hands on your wallet, and keep your eyes on your bucket or chips.
Most casinos have excellent security forces, but no security system in the world is foolproof, and it is equally important that you take some measure of responsibility for taking care of yourself. While the chances that you will be a victim are remote, always assume that you are in a den of thieves. Be prepared. It?s tough enough bucking the house edge on the table games and on the one-armed bandits without having to buck those two-legged bandits as well!
10. We shouldn?t shy from using our apocalyptic power on countries that prove to be complete enemies. As with Germany and Japan after World War II, we can help rebuild the countries we destroy -- rebuild them in our own image -- once we win World War III.
To do anything less than the above suggestions is to gamble with the very existence of America.
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