By Victor “Vegas Vic” Royer
So you’re in Las Vegas, in the casino, and you’re having a great time. That’s great! Now you’ve got lots of gambling chips jangling in your pockets, and a billfold bulging with cash. And probably even more cash stuffed in your pockets, along with the casino chips. And that’s the way it should be, right? Absolutely! You’ve done well. You’ve got lots and lots of scratch. And now what happens? Well, after all that time you need to go – and I mean need to go! To the restroom. And in a hurry. For a man, that usually means a quick trip to lighten the load, and back to the casino. But it could be something not so easy, and not so quick. Here’s why:
When a man goes to the restroom, the normal and natural thing to do is to find the nearest urinal, step up to the porcelain, and do the business, zip up, and go. But there could be a danger in this. Especially if you have been a joyous gambler who just won a bundle. Sometimes there are other characters around the casino who aren’t as joyous, and who are just looking for a nice, gregarious, happy winning gambler just like you. They watch and wait, and when you go to the restroom …. Well, that’s where the simple task of doing your business could cost you.
You see, when you step up to the urinal, you are usually wedged between the two partitions on each side, for privacy, of course. Normally, this is perfectly fine. But now you are also facing the wall, pretty close in, and your back is facing the room. At this point you are in a very weak position, and very vulnerable. Any unscrupulous pair of thieves can now come up behind you, so quickly you won’t even notice because you are busy doing your business, and one grabs you by the neck and holds you, usually with a knife to your body somewhere unpleasant, while the other picks your pockets. And then they’re gone, and all in less than a minute.
Because there are no surveillance cameras in the restroom, for obvious reasons of privacy, there is no record of this, and so it’s nearly impossible to find the thieves who did this. You certainly didn’t see them, because you were facing the wall. It’s not a pleasant prospect, by any means.
Although things like this are very rare occurrences – and I mean VERY rare – nevertheless you’d be well advised to keep your wits about you, and do one simple thing that will save you from this fate, and totally prevent this from ever happening to you. What is it? Use the stalls.
That’s right. Teach yourself to NOT go straight to the urinal, but instead go straight for an empty stall, and lock the door behind you. This way you’ll absolutely prevent this situation from ever happening to you. No thief will try it now, because they would attract too much attention trying to climb the stall walls, or kick the door in. Thieves like this are looking for an easy score, something they can do quickly and without hassle. So, protect yourself with this simple and easy tip. Head for the stall, and you’ll never have to face this kind of problem.
A little history …
Years ago, situations like weren’t as much of an issue as they can be today. Back then most restrooms actually had attendants, at least in the better casinos, although this was pretty much standard for every place. Some of the high-end casinos still do this today, but that’s very rare these days. So, you weren’t likely to have to face such situations at all. At least not in the restroom.
But there were times when you could face such situations in other places. If you were drunk, or just not careful, it was relatively easy for someone to follow you, and then push you into an alley, or a side street, and take your money. It was a different time, of course. These days, with casino surveillance and street cameras, it’s highly unlikely that anything like this could happen to you in any casino, or near any casino. Today, in Las Vegas, and in just about every major gaming center in the United States, you are very safe, and can be comfortable in that knowledge.
You know, when I first arrived in Las Vegas almost 30 years ago now, I came at a time that was still very reminiscent of how Vegas used to be. It was pretty much still the same as you see it in films such as “Viva Las Vegas”, with Elvis Presley and Ann Margret, or “Ocean’s Eleven”, the original with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, or even the gritty movie “Casino”. I arrived in Las Vegas just about at the time that the last 30 minutes of that film depict.
I remember walking downtown on Fremont Street – when it was still Glitter Gulch with all the grand old casinos and neon, before that was destroyed by that stupid “Fremont Street Experience” – while often carrying $25,000, $35,000 or even more on me, in my pockets, and coat. I never had any trouble. Well, that was really because of two things, which helped with these problems back then.
The first was that whenever I went out, I usually would dress like a bum – not a hobo, but someone who looked like he couldn’t pay for his next meal, much less get a $2 roll of nickels. This helped prevent problems, because any would-be thief was looking for flashy high-rollers, and not some bum shuffling along. Of course this was all an illusion. All the casinos where I played, and with whom I was affiliated, knew me, and so I was always treated well. But this kind of a disguise was good then, and it is still good now. I use it still, and to great effect.
The second reason was because at that time I had certain friends who would take care of problems like this, should they have happened to me. It was, of course, a different time, and the less we say about it now the better. However, to explain how this may have helped, let me say this: I still drive my 1973 Cadillac, and it’s quite easy to fit six bodies in the trunk. I think you get the point. This is, naturally, an anecdote – but just in case you have a few bodies lying around that need a ride into the desert, I have just the car for you! – LOL, to quote cyberspeak.