Morals, ethics, legalities or hardcore chip harvesting.

MaxB

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Yeah, somewhere. He was a former vendor. Drumhaus? The name was something like that. I'm sure someone will pipe up and I'll be totally off on the name.

Drumhoss .... took a lot of $ from a bunch of us. Came back on saying he would make good then ghosted again. 0% chance I get those chips or a refund
 

CrazyEddie

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As far as harvesting goes, I reckon if any of the senior executives actually heard about the practice, the conversation would go something like this:

"So they're spending $1 to buy chips that cost us $1.25 and taking them home?"
Yes, sir.
"So each chip they take costs us twenty-five cents?"
Yes, sir.
"But they came into the casino to buy them?"
Yes, sir.
"And after they came in they sat at the tables and played poker for a while?"
Yes, sir.

"Let 'em come. They can keep the twenty-five cents."
 

upNdown

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As far as harvesting goes, I reckon if any of the senior executives actually heard about the practice, the conversation would go something like this:

"So they're spending $1 to buy chips that cost us $1.25 and taking them home?"
Yes, sir.
"So each chip they take costs us twenty-five cents?"
Yes, sir.
"But they came into the casino to buy them?"
Yes, sir.
"And after they came in they sat at the tables and played poker for a while?"
Yes, sir.

"Let 'em come. They can keep the twenty-five cents."
You’re probably right. But what frustrates me about this thread is that this guy started out by asking about morals, ethics, and legality, and so many of the responses contain assumptions and/or rationalizations.
I’ve done it myself - the first time I stole a Paulson rack from a casino, I rationalized it by saying how much the casino made from me that day, in rake. Whatever gets you through the night, right?
But rationalizations about how much money the casino makes, or assumptions that the casino doesn’t care, have nothing to do with morals, ethics, or legality.
 

CrazyEddie

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Legally - it's the casino's property, but they allow you to remove it from the casino (except when they don't, but there's ample evidence that in many cases they knowingly allow you to do so). It remains the casino's property sitting at home in your cabinet, and undoubtedly they could ask for it back at any time. I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, do your own research or talk to your own lawyer.

Ethically and morally - One cannot answer this question without making some assumptions. Under the most reasonable assumptions, except in the case of specific casinos that are known to take measures to prevent harvesting, there is little reason to believe that casinos are either harmed by or object to the degree of harvesting that PCF members undertake.

You probably shouldn't take actual racks. Just the chips. They want to keep the racks in the house; they don't mind if the chips leave (at least, many don't; some do).
 

AH77

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I’m sure casinos are aware of the potential harvesting problem and they probably see it an issue that solves itself more or less. Not many people are gonna be harvesting massive amounts of chips past the $5 denomination. It becomes too costly for the average person to walk out with racks of 25s and 100s.

Even if people are consistently walking out with racks of fracs, 1s, 2s, and 5s I’m sure it’s just a drop in the bucket in terms of the money it would cost the casino to replace them. It would probably sound the alarm if it was the same person constantly coming in and walking out with racks as that seems more nefarious.
 

casinochipper22

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You’re probably right. But what frustrates me about this thread is that this guy started out by asking about morals, ethics, and legality, and so many of the responses contain assumptions and/or rationalizations.
I’ve done it myself - the first time I stole a Paulson rack from a casino, I rationalized it by saying how much the casino made from me that day, in rake. Whatever gets you through the night, right?
But rationalizations about how much money the casino makes, or assumptions that the casino doesn’t care, have nothing to do with morals, ethics, or legality.
yep. I guess I have to figure that stuff out on my own. It is pretty personal and subjective. Deciding what is crossing a line or not. As for the legality, I guess I can contact some local lawyers. But it feels like worst case scenario would be a trespass or ban. Which is still pretty concerning. If I get close to that then its time to give it up I guess.
 

turboj623

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yep. I guess I have to figure that stuff out on my own. It is pretty personal and subjective. Deciding what is crossing a line or not. As for the legality, I guess I can contact some local lawyers. But it feels like worst case scenario would be a trespass or ban. Which is still pretty concerning. If I get close to that then its time to give it up I guess.
Honestly, I don't ever remember chip harvesting or people taking chips off the property coming up as an issue of discussion during our pre-shift meetings. You have to think about the amount of foot traffic that goes in and out of the casinos. That's thousand's of people a day. If a third of them decided to take $1 chips as a souvenir that would probably add up to tens of thousands of chips leaving the property each year. If it were a huge issue, they would make obvious changes to stop something like that from happening.

I have a friend who is the director of security for three properties in Vegas. Let me reach out to him and see what their take on the subject of people taking chips off the property.
 

ekricket

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“Borrowing” their chips for an indefinite period of time (with the intention of redeeming them in the future) is probably more acceptable than “destroying” or modifying them by removing the labels and rendering them unusable for the casinos original intended purpose. If they were truly concerned that would be the thing to make illegal, defacing live chips.

What some savvy casino should do is make commemorative $7.50’s in four or five different THC colors and spot patterns and encourage harvesting. It’s an odd denomination so it won’t be used on the floor much (but you could), and it’s priced for them to make money. Like the “Year of” chips except a much larger scale. The first two weeks they would sell 500,000 of them for 3.75 mil and order replacements for about $750,000. Procurement makes 3 mil for the casino on a depreciating asset. When the values gone, issued new chips and void the others per procedure, and pocket the float from the unredeemed chips. Order blaze orange, sherbet green, Fire red, and arc yellow solids this time, rinse and repeat.
 

Moxie Mike

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I think by now if it were illegal or against casino policy we would all be FULLY aware of it by now. I don't think the casino owns them once you buy them. I'm pretty sure the chips become your property once you make the purchase.

This isn't true of tournament chips though. At the WSOP, the receipt says on it that the chips are the property of the casino and removing them is considered theft of casino property that may result in banning.

My harvesting experience is limited to the Flamingo and Bally's, so take this for what it's worth.

At Bally's:

I bought into the $1-$3 game for $300, which was the max buy in. At Bally's, you buy your chips from the floor. The rack contained all red chips other than a barrel of whites. When I asked for an additional rack of whites, the floor refused to sell them to me, stating that was 'against policy' and that they only sell enough whites needed to run the game. When I politely asked why, he told me they don't want people taking the chips to the rooms and gambling there. When I told him I just wanted to take them home with me, he smiled but still wouldn't sell me the extra rack.

The next day there was a different floor guy... so I asked him. I got the same answer.

So I harvested the old fashioned way, one at a time while I played.

On the last day in Vegas, there was a floor lady who I hadn't seen prior. I bought into the game like usual and while smiling and using her name I once again asked for some extra whites.

"Sure no problem! How many do you want?" She replied pleasantly.

"How about $60?" I needed about 50 more to fill out 2 racks for the trip.

She did what I asked her to do and I slipped her a $10 bill for her trouble.

At Flamingo:

At Flamingo you also buy your chips from the floor. When I bought into the game, I casually asked if she possibly had any mint uncirculated red chips I could buy in order to take home. She no but they might have some at the cage.

My mission was to acquire $250 worth of $5s. I successfully did so simply by playing one session. Luckily I ran good in the game and every time I dragged a pot there were a few keepers. The trickiest part was keeping them separated as I accumulated them so I wouldn't inadvertently bet them :)

When I cashed out, I simply slipped the chips I was hoarding into my pockets and cashed in the rest.

During the game after playing for a bit I got up and went to the cage. I flashed my diamond status Caesars Rewards card and said the following:

"Hi [insert name]: My name's Mike and [insert poker floor lady's name] from the poker room sent me over here. I have kind of a weird request if you have a second to help me out with something. I'm trying to get some mint uncirculated red chips for a friend. Do you happen to have any I could buy from you?"

"Sure I can check in the back for you. How many are you looking for?"

"50 would be great if you have them," I replied enthusiastically.

"50?" She asked incredulously.

I smiled and nodded.

She disappeared and was gone for a good 2-3 minutes. I overheard her asking someone else about them so I know she legit tried. Unfortunately she came back empty handed and told me they didn't have any new ones. I thanked her for checking and gave her a tip.
 

buffalojim

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So one day I'm pushing a body into the morgue. We had two freezers, I check freezer one. Full. I check freezer two. Full.

I call in and based on our paperwork, a freezer should be open.

So I open the freezer that should be open and there is a huge biohazard bag with a amputated leg in it. From the hip to the foot.

All of this has to be destroyed like everything else appropriately, so my boss tells me and the guy helping to move the leg into a small freezer. This leg had been in there for a while.... It was leg soup.

When I said this to the other guy, he immediately yells "dibs on foot"

Okay... So I get stump. Sweet. I grab my end, we lift up, and as soon as the bag clears the table, the plastic opens up on the foot end and proceeds to pour old leg across his brand new Keds.

I started laughing yelling "KARMA MFER" as he started gagging and trying to dodge the goo pouring down his legs.
That is horrific lol. All I picture is Edward Norton and Brad Pitt going to harvest the bags of fat and it getting snagged on the barbed wire and oozing out all over then. Gross :sick::vomit:
 

TX_Golf_N_Poker

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“Borrowing” their chips for an indefinite period of time (with the intention of redeeming them in the future) is probably more acceptable than “destroying” or modifying them by removing the labels and rendering them unusable for the casinos original intended purpose. If they were truly concerned that would be the thing to make illegal, defacing live chips.

What some savvy casino should do is make commemorative $7.50’s in four or five different THC colors and spot patterns and encourage harvesting. It’s an odd denomination so it won’t be used on the floor much (but you could), and it’s priced for them to make money. Like the “Year of” chips except a much larger scale. The first two weeks they would sell 500,000 of them for 3.75 mil and order replacements for about $750,000. Procurement makes 3 mil for the casino on a depreciating asset. When the values gone, issued new chips and void the others per procedure, and pocket the float from the unredeemed chips. Order blaze orange, sherbet green, Fire red, and arc yellow solids this time, rinse and repeat.
I like this idea, but can we make them $3 chips instead of $7.50s? They will still make money on them. I'm too cheap to pay $7.50 for anything in any quantity. Unlike many of the rest of you degens!
 

WhiteMamba1646

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i enjoy harvesting for the fun of it. its like collecting pokemon. gotta catch em all! and finding new ones that i didn't even know existed is always a fun addition. Ever since i started doing it, my perception of Vegas changed. i no longer go to just gamble (yes i still gamble lol), i go to see what i can bring back home with me. its alot of fun.
 

CrazyEddie

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i no longer go to just gamble (yes i still gamble lol), i go to see what i can bring back home with me. its alot of fun.
"Downstairs he takes us for $2 million... and upstairs he takes free soap, shampoo and towels."

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bradiggy

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I've probably harvested 1500-2000 chips during my once frequent work trips to Vegas. I had no moral qualms with it. I got called out a couple of times and gladly returned whatever they asked for. I considered myself a reg at the likes of Sam's Town, Jerry's Nugget, and Silver Seven's, tipped well, played table games along with poker - never had an issue. I did sell most of the harvested chips for a healthy profit, however all of this profit went directly back into chips to build a set that I wanted. I don't think I have a dime of profit that is not in the form of other chips.

I do think there are a few people around who are very much absusing the casino's leniency. Taking thousands of chips a trip...come on now, that sets off red flags. Pocketing big profits and running it as a business, you are asking for trouble.
 

upNdown

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Pocketing big profits and running it as a business, you are asking for trouble.
Seems like it, right?
But then there’s spinettis. I mean, they flat out advertise that they’re selling live chips at a profit. I don’t know if they have an arrangement with the casinos or if these sales are 100% legit, or if just nobody cares, or what. I DON’T KNOW!!!
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ReallyGoodUsername

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Seems like it, right?
But then there’s spinettis. I mean, they flat out advertise that they’re selling live chips at a profit. I don’t know if they have an arrangement with the casinos or if these sales are 100% legit, or if just nobody cares, or what. I DON’T KNOW!!!
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There's 5-6+ other privately owner chip seller websites that do the same for both singles and to a much lesser extent, racks. I think @bradiggy (correct me if I'm wrong) is more referring to the practice of harvesting a few thousand low $ chips from a single casino on a continuous monthly/bi-monthly basis.
 

bradiggy

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There's 5-6+ other privately owner chip seller websites that do the same for both singles and to a much lesser extent, racks. I think @bradiggy (correct me if I'm wrong) is more referring to the practice of harvesting a few thousand low $ chips from a single casino on a continuous monthly/bi-monthly basis.
Yeah, singles are little different..collecting a single chip from a casino is an ultra common practice, and the folks at Spinettis cater to that.

It's not infrequent to see a trip report here showcasing 1000+ chips in one weekend from one or two casinos. Most of which had already been requested/paid for.

And it's not that I'm against the profiting from these chips, it's simply the fact that these harvest sessions will reach the higher ups. They will find a way to shut it down, and then when I go for a measly couple of barrels..I'll get shut down. From an economics standpoint, there could be a million of these posts and nothing will stop the practice, it's very simple supply and demand. Hell, if I had a foolproof way to snag 1000+ mint Sam's Town, I'd probably do it in a heartbeat.
 

MaxB

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I did sell most of the harvested chips for a healthy profit, however all of this profit went directly back into chips to build a set that I wanted. I don't think I have a dime of profit that is not in the form of other chips.

I feel like we need a parody song of "The Circle of Life" from Lion King. ---> Harvest, casino gets that money, sell with profit, provide needed chips to others, use profit to get set for themselves, sets provide hours of poker enjoyment to all.

There is absolutely nothing morally wrong with it in my opinion. Everyone wins

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