What happens if you have a dispute in a casino? That's a good question, and ranges far beyond the kind of complaints retail customers have when purchasing products such as clothes or even food in a restaurant.
In some ways, casinos are just like any other business. If you have a problem or dispute in Wal-Mart you can ask for the manager on duty. Many casinos are the same. However, before the manager is called you will have to go through a succession of supervisors who are more likely to be able to solve your problem.Non-Gaming Disputes
If you have a problem with bar service, cocktails, or a restaurant meal, remember that each outlet has their own supervisors or managers. If the service is terrible in restaurant "A" then you need to go to the cashier or hostess and tell them there is a problem with your service/meal and that you would like to talk to the restaurant manager.
In most cases, the duty-manager will be happy to hear you out. If your complaint is reasonable, they will handle the problem by listening, accepting responsibility, and sometimes offering a freebie such as desert on the house (no cost) or even reducing the cost of your meal.Hotel and Facilities Issues
Many casino resorts have hotels and other amenities in addition to gambling. If you have a sub-standard room, noisy neighbors, or lipstick on the glasses, one call to the operator about your deplorable room conditions will usually suffice. At this point you are likely to receive a call from the hotel or front desk supervisor who will direct the corrective actions.
The same holds true for problems that arise from parking or valet issues. You are a paying guest and expect good service. If you have a specific complaint, ask any employee where the concierge desk is and lodge your complaint there. If the property does not offer this, ask for guest services or the player's club.
Don't be afraid to voice your concerns. A good supervisor or manager will actually be happy to assist you, and will learn from your poor experience. Your input actually helps a quality property to make good decisions about upgrading their facility. However, if you can't seem to get anywhere with your issue, that's the time to ask for the MOD or Manager on Duty.
Expect to wait for a while. The MOD is not likely to be close at hand. Facilities are large and they may also be assisting another guest. Don't be upset that you have to wait, it's a fact of life when you are waiting for the final authority.Casino Gambling Disputes
Now we get to the interesting stuff. Casinos and gaming are considered a "privileged" industry. Games played for money must have very stringent rules. It's not like a shoe store where there's a sign hanging on the wall that says the customer is always right. Sometimes the customer is wrong, and when that happens there is little, if any recourse.
The first rule to protect yourself is to know the rules of the game you are playing. If you put a hundred-dollar bill into a slot machine marked "5" and think you are playing a nickle machine and lose the hundred quickly because it is a five-dollar machine, nobody is going to help you. This thinking applies to every casino game from Keno and Poker to table games like blackjack and craps.
Learn to play the games before you risk your money! At the very least, ask the dealer if there is a brochure for the game you want to play. Many casinos have them, and some even have playing guides and basic strategy charts for blackjack. That said, problems can still arise.Slot Disputes
Even though you have learned the rules on your slot machine by looking at the "rules" and being careful, things can still happen. Sometimes the machine will be out of paper and can't print you a voucher. When this happens, the light on the top of your machine should go on. However, should there be no light, click the "service" or "change" button on your machine. If your light does not go on, click the light on a machine close to you.
Usually, the main issue for slot players is that they find out (after a jackpot) they were not playing the number of coins they wanted to play. That's not likely to be an issue that can be remedied by the slot manager.
The other issue that sometimes happens is when a machine malfunctions and it appears you have a jackpot and the machine does not pay. When this happens, talk to everybody from the change person to the slot manager to the MOD.
Although a machine malfunction voids all play, you still have a right to issue a complaint. Most states have a gaming body that regulates the casinos, such as the Gaming Control Board in Nevada. If you have an issue with a dispute of this nature, ask the slot manager for the phone number to gaming control and they must give you the number. Call the phone number and be pleasant. Tell the nice operator what happened, and they are likely to send an officer to the casino to check on the complaint. At Native American casinos, their own CRA or Casino Regulatory Agency may have officers on duty, right on the premises.
In some instances you have some recourse. You might be paid, or the casino may offer a token amount as compensation for the problem. In most cases you will not be paid on a machine that malfunctions. That's the deal.
Be pleasant but persistent. Take a photo of the machine with your cell phone. Ask for business cards from the managers. If it involves a large jackpot and you want to pursue other avenues, there really aren't any beyond hiring a lawyer. This usually does not help.Table Game Disputes
Disputes during the play of games like craps and blackjack are handled in a different manner. If you accidentally wave to take a card at blackjack and bust your hand, you are responsible. So sad. However, you can tell the dealer it was a mistake and the dealer will call the floor supervisor over to the game. In some instances, especially if the card does not impact another player or you are alone on the table, the supervisor may actually let you "stay" on your original hand and burn the card. Never hurts to ask on an honest mistake. Be polite!
If the play involves the dealer giving you the card and you did not signal for a "hit," the supervisor will again be called. Usually the card will be "burned" or given to the next player, but if the supervisor refuses and you know you were right, ask to see the pit manager. This should produce whomever is in charge of the gaming tables in your section.
Resolving any dispute in the table games area should be handled in this way. Simply ask for the pit manager, and if they aren't available or the supervisor says their decision is final, ask for the shift manager. You may have to wait.
If you are incorrect, especially if the supervisor calls the eye-in-the-sky to check the film for the game, be polite and thank them for checking. No harm, no foul. If you abuse the dealers or the supervisors, you may be asked to leave - decision or no decision.Other Things to Know
- Casinos may bar anybody from playing
- You must produce a photo ID if asked, or you will be asked to leave
- If you don't know the rules, the error is yours and is unlikely to be compensated
Just remember to learn the rules, play accordingly, and if a dispute arises, you have a right to ask the dealer and then the supervisor for a ruling. Usually, your request for a refund will be accepted if it is a dealer error. If you made the mistake, your request for a refund is unlikely. Ask anyway.